They say there are no guarantees in life, and when it comes to getting through TSA swiftly? Well, there are no guarantees there either. However, there are steps you can take to minimize your wait time at airport screening.
1. Be prepared.
Even if you pack with intention, dress appropriately, and have your liquids tucked away in that quart-size bag, it is no guarantee that you’ll fly through security. Be prepared by giving yourself plenty of time to get to your flight. The TSA advises arriving at the airport two hours before your flight for domestic travel and three hours before for international travel.
You may even want to download an app like MyTSA, Kayak, or MiFlight where you can check the wait times at airport security checkpoints.
2. Know what to pack.
Per TSA, while the majority of checked baggage is screened without the need for a physical bag search, it does happen. Don’t wait until you’re at the airport to see if your checked bag is OK to fly. To that point, you’ll want to make sure your carry-on is in compliance as well. Visit the TSA site for a complete list.
3. Know how to pack it (electronics).
If you’re taking electronics that are bigger than your cell phone, you’ll need to place those in a separate bin as you go through security. So it’s best to keep those items where you can easily access them when going through security.
4. Don’t forget about your liquids.
You don’t want to wait for extra screening just because you forgot about your toothpaste. Remember, you are limited to 1 quart-size bag for all liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes in your carry-on bag. Per TSA, these are limited to travel-sized containers (3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters or less per item).
5. Invest in TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
Not only can you skip removing your shoes, belts, liquids, light jackets, and laptops, but according to the TSA, just last month, 93% of TSA PreCheck® passengers waited less than 5 minutes.