It doesn’t involve riding on a skateboard.
• TSA PreCheck clearance will last five years.
• Catch an earlier flight if you want to avoid long lines.
Whether it’s your first or 15th flight, a plane ride is the quickest way to get to your destination. Over 16 million flights take place across the country every year. Flying 30,000 feet in the sky gives people a comforting experience. Waking up at 6:15 a.m. to catch your 6:45 a.m. flight, however, can be a nightmare. A million thoughts run through your head while packing up. You’ll need the power of Grayskull to arrive at the airport on time.
The most antagonizing thing about flying is waiting in the security line to get checked. With so many people getting on planes, this simple process can seem like forever. While passengers might be upset, security can feel the same way. They have to constantly deal with people who choose to not follow the rules. We have some travel hacks to make your next visit with airport security less stressful, for you and them.
More dime for a quicker time
If you’re looking to get things done quicker, you might want to drop a few dollar bills. There are a couple of ways to go through a quick scan. The first is known as TSA PreCheck, which began in 2011. With this service, you can expect to wait no more than five minutes in line. To get accepted, you’ll have to take a two-part application. The first part of the application is done online, which is followed by an in-person application. This portion requires a background check and fingerprinting. For an $85 fee, TSA PreCheck approval will be yours for five years.
Another way to get on board quicker is through the airlines’ reward programs. These programs offer a surprising deal with perks such as expedited screening. Reward programs can also be used for friends and family without one in their possession. This can lead to some battles for your affection when booking a flight.
If you’re looking for a better flight, premium-class seating comes with faster screening times. Aside from the screening, premium-class seating gives a richer flying experience. Extra legroom, dinner and free entertainment are among the perks found on these flights. As expected, premium class seating costs a fortune.
Some free options
If you’re not in the mood to drop more money, there are some free ways to speed it up. The clothing you wear can make or break the whole process. While you may wish to stand out wearing tall goth boots, taking them off will hold up the line. Wearing a pair of slip-on shoes will make things easier before and after the screening. If you want to wear a jacket, make sure it’s equipped with huge pockets. This makes it easier to store smaller objects such as your phone, keys, and passport. Don’t arrive with the jacket from Missy Elliot’s “Supa Dupa Fly” music video, though. Folks who love jewelry should try leaving it behind at home. If you insist on wearing it, something small like a bracelet will suffice. If you need to wear 20 necklaces to show off your style, you’re better off driving to your destination instead.
If you constantly check the phone, apps are available to track waiting times for security lines. MyTSA, MiFlight, and App In The Air are some grand choices.
Most importantly, the time of your flight can delay things. If you’re leaving in the afternoon, you’ll face longer lines than a morning flight. While it’s stressful to wake up early, you won’t risk missing your flight due to a delayed screening. With these tips, you won’t be stressed out with your next security check at the airport. You might get stressed with the person in front of you quoting lines from Airplane instead.
A deeper dive — Related reading from the 101:
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Use the extra money for airport gifts.