|Pack like you're making lasagna
You probably don't want a security official inspecting your carry-on
bag by hand. Time-consuming inspections usually only happen when
an x-ray machine operator can't identify items. Avoid this hassle by
packing in a way that keeps your curling iron, hair dryer, and other
hard-plastic or dense items separate in your bag, instead of allowing
them to get tangled in a pile—and look suspiciously like a bomb or a
weapon on an X-ray scan. Layer your electronics and toiletries in
between your clothes like you're spreading ricotta cheese in between
strips of pasta to prepare lasagna. Put heavy clothes on top to act as
a weight and secure loose items.
Remember the 3-1-1 rule
If you plan to go carry-on only, any liquid should be kept in a
3.4-ounce bottle or smaller. You're only allowed as many bottles
as can fit in one quart-size, clear Ziplock bag. Find bottles in your
local drugstore's travel or $1 section, or online. By transferring
your liquids from standard-size bottles into TSA-friendly
containers,you should save a lot of money.
Use flight-ready toiletries
Keep your travel bag stocked with "flight ready" items that don't
break the TSA's liquid rules, such as solid perfume, and lip balm
instead of lip gloss.
Dress for success
Slip-on shoes (preferably with socks; think of the dirty feet that
have been on that linoleum), minimal jewelry, and no belt is the
standard uniform for moving through security fast. If you insist on
wearing jewelry and a watch on the plane, take them off and slip
them into a pocket in your carry-on before you enter the security
Buy a TSA-approved laptop bag
The TSA allows laptops to go through the X-ray in checkpoint-friendly
laptop bags. The most common and cheapest is a laptop sleeve.
Laptops are also among the most-forgotten items at security, so label
yours with a business card or ID tag.
Keep an eye peeled for new
Fifty airports (including Boston, Chicago, and Seattle) have security
lines split among Expert, Casual, and Family travelers. Look for the
signs and hit the line that's right for you—we suggest Expert now that
you've read our tips. Also, remember that 18 airports and five airlines
are currently participating in the Paperless Boarding Pass pilot
program. If the program covers your flight, you can go straight to the
security checkpoint and use your cell phone as a boarding pass.
Once you've presented your ID and boarding pass, get moving. Find the shortest line—look especially for lines toward your
left because studies show that Americans are more likely to turn right than left when entering a building, so lines on the left will
tend to be shorter. Grab two bins.
The TSA is asking travelers to put shoes directly on the X-ray belt, so do that first. Pull out your quart-size bag of liquids and
small electronics (like an iPhone) and lay them on top of your jacket. In the second bin, put your laptop (or, if you've got just
got one bag or purse, use this bin for that). After successfully passing through the metal detector (because we know you will),
grab your shoes and slip them on, then snag your other belongings and slip them back in your bag. Look around quickly for
anything that may have come loose, and then exit the security area to keep the line moving.
Copyright © 2009 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.
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