3 tips to get through the airport quickly

The holidays are filled with so many wonderful things—time with loved ones, delicious food, maybe a year-end bonus if you’re lucky…. But if you12-19-14-1 have to travel during these last few weeks of the year you may notice that there are a ton of extra people at the airport, many of whom don’t fly often and have no idea what they are doing.

For you frequent travelers, I hope you already have TSA Pre-check—that is the best way to get through security quickly any time, especially right now. For those of you who don’t travel frequently, or haven’t signed up for Pre-check yet, here are a few ways to get through the airport as quickly and easily as possible.

  1. Check in online. This may not save you time in line if you’re checking bags but it will allow you to make sure you are happy with your seat assignments. Some airlines will let you prepay baggage fees (and potentially get a discount!). Of course, if you’re not checking your bag you can skip the airline lines completely and go straight to security.
  2. Pack efficiently. Whether you are checking your bags or not, make sure your suitcases are packed neatly. If your bags are ready to go it makes things go more quickly at the counter, plus any security scan go more smoothly. There is nothing more frustrating than waiting in line behind people frantically repacking their bags at the counter!
  3. Be prepared at security. One critical thing that people can do to speed things up at the airport is to be prepared for all points of security. Before you get to the front of the line make sure that your bag is organized with everything you need to take out near the top—laptop, liquids bag, and the like. Empty your pockets and take off your belt and stick those things in your bag. Finally, have your ID and boarding pass in hand to give to the TSA agent. If everyone did this the security lines would be much faster!

Bonus tip: Don’t check your bag. I know it’s not practical for everyone, but if you can avoid checking your bag it will save you tons of time both when you first arrive at the airport and when you land at your destination. Remember not to wrap any gifts if you take this option.

Readers, what are your tips for getting through the airport quickly?

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