Anyone who has flown in the last ten years knows the changes that we have endured at the airports. Policies and changes have been made to make flying quite a miserable experience. I used to love flying. I was going someplace new and exciting. Whether it was a couple states over or across the ocean, it was amazing that we could take off and be someplace else far away in a few hours. But that has changed. Now you have stages and hurdles throughout your travel. You have figure out when you should get to the airport. You have to go through all kinds of crazy baggage lines, rules and now fees. Everyone has to be either serious or irritated as they start their journey. Now the first place you look forward to is this…
Airport security is really just a joke that we can't laugh about. With the goal to get through security as fast and as easy as possible, we have to keep our mouths shut. Don't joke. Don't use sarcasm. Don't make comments about the process. Don't address personnel unless they speak to you first. One wrong comment can mean that you are being screened and harassed for hours on end. In air travel, you lose most of any rights that you thought you had. They can hold you captive at the airport. They can hold you captive on the plane for hours on end without food, water or facilities. And we are still no more safe than before because anyone who is determined to do something can do it.
So here is a step by step of what I do when I travel:
Be very polite and use good manners. Say good morning or good afternoon. Say please and thank you when you can. You may be surprised at the reaction you get. Most of the staff immediately change their demeanor for the better towards you because a positive word at an airport is so rare these days.
Just prior to getting into the screening line, I take everything out of my pockets and off my person tuck it into a separate outside closing pocket on my carry-on bag. This way you don't have to use those little trays and have all your items out in the open and visible. For those that you can do easily, it is best to take out any body piercing jewelry that you may have as well. Hold onto your ticket and passport/ID. Everything else goes. This includes my watch, my cell phone, ring, wallet, coins, pens and my hand sanitizer. Do the same with anything else that you carry in your pockets. You can then open this pocket on the other side of security and put it all back on your person for the rest of your travels.
Take off your belt and any other clothing accessories that could set something off.
Prevent theft at the security machines
You never want your stuff on one side of security while you are on the other. If I was a crook and based on what I witness all the time, this would be such a great place to hangout. People are vulnerable, distracted and the authorities really don't give a darn about your stuff. Security can't leave their post to run after someone who steals your valuables. So it's totally up to you to prevent theft and stay safe.
Collect your stuff, put on your belt and shoes, empty that outside pocket of stuff back into your own pockets and get on your journey. You are probably past the biggest hassle of your entire trip…until you go the airport to come home again.