How To Fly Through TSA Lines
By: Patricia Rust
Don’t you just love doin’ the TSA dance? Here are some steps to make it a more fun, fast and efficient one:
Wear socks. When your shoes have to come off, you don’t want your bare feet touching filthy floors. I saw a bed bug or some creepy crawler hopping around a TSA conveyer belt area so I like to get in and through as fast as possible and I don’t wish to invite dirt or bugs on my trip or take them with me home.
Wear slip-on shoes or boots over your socks. If you absolutely must wear sneakers, have them unlaced and ready to slip off and right back on at the end of the conveyor belt line when you get your things back. Now try to find seats to re-dress in order to leave others room to pick up their things. There is nothing worse than fliers blocking the flow of things. That’s just plain rude. It would be great if the TSA had mirrors but fashion is lost on them as you can see just by looking at them!
Use a clear quart bag and keep all your little bottles in it. Place it above your coat, purse, man purse or shoes. This scores points with the TSA people. They love their quart bags. Make sure to eliminate any water bottles before you go through security because water really irks them. Just think of the TSA people as primitive brain people. Good, one grunt, bad, two grunts and confiscation.
If you have more bins than you can control, consolidate. They don’t tell you that you can do this, but you can. If they want to separate things out, let them do so. Otherwise, it’s like an “I Love Lucy” episode such as when Lucy and Ethel tried working in a chocolate factory and bins start flying.
Whenever possible, wear plastic. This wigs out the TSA people and scoots you through faster. When they ask you to remove your belt, you get to say, “It’s plastic” as you sachet through! Score one, Joe Traveler!
Hold back on the jewelry. It’s often a metal that can set things off. Better to pack it in your carry-on than to try to wear it. If you wear it and it sets things off, you have to take it off and set it down on one of your bins where it is at risk for being stolen.
Show initiative. Put your hands up in the air when you are in the scanning machine and do everything like a good little boy or girl. They like this. It shows you are “anti-terrorist” and want to cooperate with their efforts.
I rarely take my laptop out. And rarely does anyone say anything. And if they do, I just give a big, “Oops!” It’s because I have a beautiful new laptop with a gorgeous new cover and everything squashed into my suitcase/desk on wheels and once I get it out, I often cannot get it back in I’m human and carry a lot of research. By the way, iPads no longer have to be taken out.
Help your neighbor. Now that you are at peak efficiency, help your neighbor who doesn’t know all the Speedy Gonzalez ways of handling airport security. I guarantee you can slip out of your shoes and through the conveyor belts in a matter of seconds. Men, it’s a little trickier for you, but we women have something in our hand lotion that is the same ingredient used in bombs so that gets a little sticky sometimes. Prepare to get your hands examined. This test is not irritating and someone holds your hands. They should play The Beatles, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in the background!
All in all, be a good sport. Don’t give anyone grief because they can detain you and make you miss your flight if they choose to do so. Just be cheerful, chipper and wish everyone a great day. This will get you to your gate in plenty of time for your flight. And the pat down? It happens to everyone. Deal with it. I told one woman who patted me down that if she were a handsome bachelor billionaire, I would have loved it. She laughed. So, maybe the TSA people are human after all.