Tips for Navigating the TSA Checkpoint

Going through the TSA checkpoint at the airport can be stressful. You have to deal with long lines, taking off your shoes, listening to other passengers complain, and the list goes on. But you can have a better experience if you know how to navigate the TSA checkpoint. Here are some tips that can help you get through quickly and keep your sanity.

1) Have your ticket, state ID, or passport ready

When you arrive at the airport, go to the kiosk to get your ticket. Have your ticket, state ID, or passport prepared for the TSA officer to verify your identity.

Note: U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires passengers 18 years of age and older to have a REAL ID to travel after October, 1st 2021.

2) Listen and follow the TSA Officer’s instructions

Keep your ears open and listen to the TSA Officer's instructions. Following the instructions will help keep you moving through the security checkpoint. A TSA officer can pull you out of line to do a personal security check while could take you longer to go through the airport security.

3) Get in line behind an expert traveler

When you are in line, follow someone who looks like they are an expert traveler. You can identify that person because they start taking out their laptop or tablet from their bag and taking off their shoes, belt, or watch before arriving at the bins. Follow their lead and place your items in the bin.

4) Know the 3-1-1 liquid rule

Knowing what liquids and containers you can bring in a carry-on will not only save you time but also money. TSA Officers will confiscate liquids that aren’t in the allowed container and bag. Remember to keep liquids in bottles that are no more than 3.4 oz. and carried in a 1-quart clear bag. Passengers are only allowed one bag to bring on the plane.

5) Wear easy-to-remove shoes at the TSA checkpoint

All travelers must remove their shoes to go through the x-ray machines. Wear footwear that can easily be removed, like sandals, loafers, flip-flops, or slip-on sneakers. When you’re done going through TSA, putting your shoes back on will be a breeze.

6) Don't wear or keep a lot of metal on you

Only wear the essentials when it comes to jewelry and accessories. The more you have, the more you will have to take off before going through the metal detector. Keep it basic - only wear wedding rings and watches. Limit what you carry in your pocket to your car and house keys. Try to get rid of your coins before going to the airport so you don't have to fumble around pulling them out of your pocket.

7) Pack your bag accordingly

When packing your carry-on, only bring the essentials. Put your extra pair of shoes at the bottom and layer your clothes. Place your 1-quart clear bag with liquids, laptop, or tablet on the top layer to gain easy access to place it in the bin at the security checkpoint.

8) Don't wrap your gifts

Whether it's the holidays or going out of town for a special occasion, don't wrap gifts until you arrive at your destination. TSA will unwrap gifts they deem suspicious. Keeping them unwrapped will allow officers to go through the contents quickly, plus all that work you put into wrapping the gift won't be wasted.

9) Wait for your items at the end

After you have gone through the detector, wait at the end of the conveyer belt for your items. After you have the bins, you can start putting on your easy to slip on shoes, belt and jewelry. Put any items back in your pockets or bag, and don't forget your boarding pass.

10) Get TSA PreCheck

The best way to get through TSA is with their TSA PreCheck program. With TSA PreCheck, you won't wait in long lines, take off your shoes, or take out your laptop from the carry-on. Enrollment is easy and will save you time when flying.

Going through the TSA security checkpoint can be stressful and challenging, but it does serve to protect you and fellow flyers. Preplanning and taking action with our tips will relieve stress and save you time. Let PreFlight help you make your trip more enjoyable when you park at one of our discount airport parking facilities.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How soon will points be added to my account?

Points are added within 48 hours after you exit the facility.

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