Ahhh airport security. While none of us would dispute the necessity or importance of the process, it doesn’t make it any less tedious.
As a constant failure of said screenings – not for life threatening reasons let me hasten to add – I feel more than equipped to explain exactly what not to wear/do unless you’d like to get held up, sent to the screener or worse, have the entire contents of your bag gone through.
What not to wear
Over the knee boots
Been there, done that. Nowadays, it’s easier to just remove any shoes before walking through the detector, so long as you can take them off easily. It might seem sensible to wear rather than pack your heaviest or most delicate shoes, provided they won’t have you balancing on one foot for ages as you try to get them off (and then back on)!
While fine jewellery isn’t really an issue, anything more substantial will have to be removed. Save yourself the hassle of multiple trips through the scanner, or the risk of losing or damaging your precious jewellery, by packing it instead.
Belts, buckles or embellished clothing
Unless you need a belt to hold up your pants it’s best to just avoid the heavy metal. Anything that’s not on a jacket you’re going to remove will just set off detectors and delay your journey.
Too many layers
While it’s tempting to travel in lots of layers – particularly given the temperature of planes – this can be more trouble than it’s worth when it comes to going through security. Choose warmer materials such as cashmere or a thicker jacket and try not too wear too many accessories – another habit I’m guilty of. Hats and scarves are all well and good until you have to take them all off and put them all back on again.
How to prepare
Have all toiletries and liquids already in a clear sealed bag – this means you won’t have to spend time repacking at the security checks.
Take electronics out of your bag, otherwise you’ll just have to have your bag checked or rescanned.
Take off all watches, belts and jewellery before reaching the conveyor belt. This saves time and ensures you can put them in a safe place rather than throwing them in the tray, where there’s the potential to forget to pick them back up.
Finally, one more word of wisdom, if you do get sent to the scanner, or your bag does go down the other belt to be screened further, don’t get sassy with the staff. No matter how grumpy they are, they don’t make the rules and they are following procedures to ensure all of our safety. Having an attitude or getting annoyed won’t get you anywhere. If something you own does get thrown out, take a deep breathe, put it down to a life lesson and go find the nearest bar to drown your sorrows!
What’s your airport security disaster story? Tell us in the comments below.