How to get through security quickly

Going through the security line is one of the least fun parts of traveling, if not THE least fun part. There are ways to speed it up though! With a little planning and thinking ahead, going through the security line can be way less painful. If everyone went through security like a business traveler the lines would move much more quickly! (Don’t worry, I won’t rant again…this time)

  • Have your travel documents and identification ready to go. Get it out before you get to the TSA agent and life will go much more smoothly for everyone.
  • Another helpful thing to do when you are in line to show your i.d.–get your toiletries out of your bag. Not everyone can manage this, but if you can do it gracefully, without dropping anything, this will really speed things up.  I have gotten to where I can pull my suitcase with one hand, which is holding my i.d. and boarding pass, while pulling out my laptop and toiletry bag with my other hand. If you can’t do this, don’t worry, just make sure your toiletry bag and laptop are easily accessible.
  • Ideally when you get to the x-ray machine line you will have everything ready, or at least accessible. Know how many bins you will need (I need two: one for my laptop, one for my purse, toiletries, and coat; shoes go on the conveyor belt) and get them out, stacked. I put all the things in one bin, with my shoes and laptop on top. This conserves room on the tables and allows other people to get their stuff together. Once you are close to the x-ray machine, separate the bins and put your laptop in the empty one.
  • Once you get to the actual x-ray machine, put your shoes through first (which are slip on and don’t require tying, right?). Then your laptop bin, then your purse bin, and finally your suitcase. Put your suitcase on the belt handle first for easy pick up on the other side.
  • Keep your boarding pass in your hand when going through the metal detector. Some airports need to see them, some don’t.
  • When you get to the other side of the x-ray machine, pick up your shoes and drop them on the floor. While you are slipping your feet into them grab your laptop and toiletry bag in one hand, put your purse over your shoulder, and pick up your suitcase and put it on the ground. Walk everything over to the convenient bench just a few feet away so that you don’t hold up the line putting all your things in their right places.

See? It’s not so hard! It just takes a few times to get it down. Just try to be prepared for the next step and you will be fine.


  1. I used to wear Danskos which have a rigid back so they were easy to slip on. i switched to other shoes and it slowed me down a lot because the back collapses when i try to put my foot in.

    I totally agree with keeping luggage off the tables.

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