Get Through Airport Security Faster

Here are a few tips to help you get through airport security faster for your next flight. I discuss some services to let you skip the line at airport security and give some general tips for frequent fliers and parents travelling with small children.

Get Through Airport Security Faster

TSA Pre Check

This is a service for US Citizens, residents and nationals. The idea is to get approved travellers through security in 5 minutes.

This lets you skip the line, not take off your belt, shoes or jacket and not have to take liquids or your laptop out of your bag.

It costs US$85-$100 depending on which plan you go for and lasts for 5 years. For business fliers within the US this is worth it even if you do one trip per year.

A great gift for frequent travelers, for a minimalist or someone who has everything.

The system is based on the airline you fly, so if you are flying cheap airlines they will not be included in the programme.

Participating airlines are Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, American Airlines, Cape Air, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Seaborne Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, Virginia.

Note British Airways are not included.

UK Airport Security Fast Track

Some UK airports offer a fast track service where you join the express lane for £3-5 per person. Manchester, Birmingham, Stansted, Luton, Gatwick and Edinburgh offer fast track services. Heathrow offers it only to Business class passengers and if you have enough frequent flier miles.

The fast track ticket can be bought online for a discount or at the airport. The £5 is worth it if it saves you missing your flight by waiting an hour to go through security!

Global Entry

Like TSA Pre Check but expanded to other countries, the citizens of these countries are eligible:

  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • South Korea

UK citizens have to get a CRB background check which costs £42 and it costs an additional £65 for 5 years.

Skip the line at passport control and get the same benefits as TSA Pre Check when entering the States and other countries involved in the programme.

Travel Tips to Get Through Airport Security Faster

When you reach the airport security line:

Put your boarding pass and passport away, your boarding pass was checked, and your passport will not be needed until passport control.

Plenty of bags isn’t a problem, they can be put inside each other before you reach the gate. For example, I put my small shoulder bag in my carry on suitcase.

I dump all the items in my pockets like my phone, keys and wallet into a zip pocket in the front of my carry on bag. Then I can put my bag through the x-ray scanner without a separate tray for all my small items.

I avoid wearing trousers that need a belt when flying it saves me having to take my belt off.

The line only moves as fast as the x-ray machine can handle, people can go through the metal detector, but be waiting for their bags from the scanner so bear this in mind when choosing a line.

When you are choosing a security line, go behind the business travellers, they are pro’s and move faster. Avoid going behind families, they take ages because they have more stuff and children to look after.

Flying with Children

To keep your own sanity, try making the security-line into a game by getting the children to count how many people are in the line ahead of you and how many behind, or count how many people have a black suitcase. Anything to occupy the children and make the time go faster.

If you liked this post, read the most important travel tips you have never heard before.

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