10 Easy Airport Hacks for a Smooth Security Check


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Whether you travel only with a carry on (like us) or decide to check a bag, packing your hand luggage to ensure a smooth security check passage can be a bit tricky. At least at first.

While we’ve been lucky to avoid horror stories, we still have had some pretty awkward moments, from having to pull out “all” the cables for the electronics in security line at Bucharest Baneasa Airport (BBU) to being patted several times in Rome because that damn alarm would still go off…

In case you are looking for super easy tricks to make your life easier when you through security check, read on.

1. Have your passport / ID card and boarding pass ready and clasp it for dear life

Before I head to the security line, I take out my passport and my boarding pass. I either keep them in one hand and my backpack in the other, or put them in the front pocket of the backpack (for super easy reach). If you need a visa, make sure you have a printed version of it (just in case).


2. Laptop / Tablet goes in dedicated pocket / area

Either look for a backpack (or something on wheels) which has a dedicated pocket for the laptop / tablet, or some laptop backpacks come with pretty much a sleeve in which you can put the laptop and take it out super easily. Then just take it out of the sleeve and put it in the bin.

3. Liquids go in ziploc bag in the easiest pocket you can access

Yup, put that ziploc bag- with the approved quantities for liquids – in the front pocket or easiest one you can access. Just unzip, put in the bin and you are done. Alternatively, you can use solid shampoo, for example and , while you still want that in a ziploc bag, you won’t worry about the quantity.

4. Speaking of ziploc bags, put some additional ones in that pocket

You never know when you need one and you can stash anything in it. Including the passport & boarding pass.

5. Have a fail-proof set of clothes for air travel

We are lucky here in Europe because we don’t have to take the shoes off unless they contain metal! So, I’m flying with my all terrain shoes, which don’t have any metal in them.

Since I do wear a belt, I take that off before I get in line (it doesn’t have a plastic buckle, unfortunately). Same goes for my FitBit(hello, ziploc bag, told you there are useful), sunglasses or bandana I may wear.

Oh, what set off the alarm in Rome was a freakin’ scrunchy! I didn’t even think to take it off. Guess what? Now I know better.

The jewelry is debatable in terms of taking it off or not. I only have my wedding band and engagement ring with me so I take them off and put them in the same bag where the FitBit goes so I won’t lose them. I have had both experiences when I was told to take them off and when I was told to keep them on…

Ladies, the underwire bras also love to trigger the alarms. After being patted because this as well, now I know better and wear a sports bra .

I stick with a cotton t-shirt or layers (long sleeve + short sleeve) if it’s colder. Plus, I always have the jacket with me. If it’s summer, it’s a lightweight waterproof jacket, while during the winter I wear the waterproof one which provides the best insulation, as well.

By the way, if you hand luggage is overweight, you can always wear some more clothes. Hasn’t happened to us, but, we have flown with 3 layers of clothes under the jacket. Haha. Hey, I don’t like cold weather.

Another trick is to ask for a shopping bag from one of the stores in the departure are and put in there the excess luggage. The “one piece per person” rule can be annoying, we know. This is a trick I didn’t try (yet) but have seen others do it.

6. Whatever you need during the flight, goes in (another) ziploc bag or in your jean’s / trouser’s pockets

You will need quick and easy access to those, so if you need something during the flight (i.e. ear buds, snacks, books) , put them in a ziploc bag to take them out easily. I only need my headphones and smartphone (I read or listen to music) so I put them in my jean’s pockets or in the easy to reach backpack pocket.

7. The empty water bottle

Nope, you cannot pass through security with a bottle filled with water. But you can with an empty one. So you can ask the flight attendants to fill it when you get on board.

8. Mind those wires

So yeah, we may have one too many chargers and wires with us since we have smartphones and sometimes the laptop. Not to mention the headphones. Bring on rubber bands. I love them and have a lot of them. I use them, of course, to tame the damn wires. And yes, ziploc bags to the rescue, as well. There, no more problems with loose wires in the luggage!

9. Bring a power bank

We are so in love with our power bank. We used to travel with a multi-plug adapter, but switched to being a bit more mobile during the last few years. It’s been quite useful while waiting for our flights or during layovers.

10. Head left

Apparently, people like to go for the right hand side security line, so the left one is less crowded. We typically get to security check the second it opens for our flight or when we get to the airport if there isn’t an hour restriction. So, at least we don’t swear our way through the queue.

This article was first published on LooknWalk.

14 thoughts on “10 Easy Airport Hacks for a Smooth Security Check

  1. These are great things to remember! I always forget about emptying my water bottle and have to wrestle with getting my laptop and electrical out my bag! A designated pocket would work wonders!

    • Been there, trust me! I had to ditch quite a lot of bottles before I learned my lesson! As for the laptop, I only travel with it when I work and I keep it handy in case i get terribly bored before the flight haha

  2. Very helpful article that would help people be more efficient about time spent in the airport, helping alao others by reducing waiting times. I never know what exactly what will set the alarm off and i’ve only had some incident related to the underwire bra (still it is never a pattern, sometimes I get checked other times i don’t) and with my shoes. I have never been asked to take off my juwelery, even though i wear the basic (one ring, earrings, 2 basic bracelets).

    • I’ve had various things happening to me haha, between the underwire bra, the scrunchy, the shoes (this is the latest which didn’t make it to the article), my underwear with an ornament….but it wasn’t ever really bad.
      As for the jewelry, it is weird and depends on the airport. I always put the bracelets with the FitBit anyway but I am not keen on taking off my wedding band all the time! I am done with earrings (always lose one of them) and I don’t even wear at home haha

  3. So helpful!! I love the tip about going left instead of right. I would have never thought of that. Also great idea to put all your liquids in one place. Thank you!!

    • That one (going left) was found through research and later tested by myself. What do you know? They were right! We tend to go to the right…:)

  4. Interesting about the head left and that is a great tip! I will be looking out for that in the future. I also carry a bum bag or a fanny pack. It’s an extra carry on bag, no one notices and that is where I keep my passport and boarding pass, so it’s right up close to me.

    Thanks for the tips!

    • I had a fanny pack in 2011 when I flew Blue Air. They saw it and made me put it in my carry on. Ugh.
      Now I prefer to pay extra to have a personal item along with the carry on so my small day pack has all the documents in it. They still get their own plastic sleeve.
      But it depends on our budget, if it gets too expensive I just go with 1 carry on…

  5. Airport security is the worst!! I especially hate having to take my laptop in and out of my bag but I also don’t have a specified spot for my laptop in my bag so I may have to look into that! Thanks for this

    • We recently got a backpack which has a special sleeve for the laptop. And my Asus Zen came with its own sleeve. Even having that makes it easier to take it out / put it back in…bonus points for a separate compartment (my old laptop backpack has that and love it!)

  6. Great tips! I am lucky that I have TSA precheck so most of the time in US Airports I don’t have to take out my laptop or take off my shoes. It really makes like easier.

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