How To Get Through TSA Screening Quickly


If you are an experienced frequent flyer you may have already taken advantage of the TSA Pre check or Global Entry program. When you have TSA precheck or global entry status there is a indicator on your boarding pass allowing you to go through the TSA precheck lane. This lane moves faster and you get through security more quickly. You usually do not need to remove your shoes or belt or lightweight jacket.

Most of us do not have the precheck or global entry clearance. There are still some things you can do to help speed up the screening process.

Pack your bags neatly so it is easier for the TSA agent to recognize the contents. If you have cords coil them instead of just wadding them in a heap. Put your little 3.4 ounce clear containers of liquid into 1 quart size bag and put this in an outside pocket of your luggage so it is easily accessible..

Be prepared while you are waiting in line take off your belt, shoes and coat. Have your toiletry bag ready for inspection. Have your laptop ready to go in the bin.

It helps if you have emptied your coat pockets before getting in line. It also will speed things up if you have shoes that just slip off of if you have your shoes untied.

If you have separate large electronics in your carryon bag such as DVD players, video cameras with cassettes or full size video game consoles you will need to remove these from your carryon for x-ray screening.


If you are traveling carrying gifts do not wrap them. The security officer may need to inspect them.

When possible pack your jackets or coats in your checked luggage.

If you are traveling with a pet remove it from the carrier. Send the carrier through the x-ray machine and carry the pet through the metal detector with you.

If traveling with children take them out of their stroller or baby carrier and take them with you through the metal detector. The stroller or baby carrier can go through x-ray along with your carryon luggage.

If you set off an alarm the TSA agent will need to conduct additional screening.

If you are going through the Advanced Imaging Technology machine for screening it is safest to remove everything from your pockets so you don’t set off the machine. You may set off the machine if you have body piercing.

Let the security officer know if you have a medical disability which may affect your screening results.

Never try to carry prohibited items with you. These include, among others, any type weapon, pocketknives, small tools, scissors or pepper spray.

Before you finish packing and head for the airport if you are not sure what is allowed check the TSA website. If in doubt about any item leave it at home. Check the airline website to be sure your luggage size is acceptable for a carryon.

At the airport have your boarding pass and your identification ready for the security officer to inspect.

Be sure you allow sufficient time before your flight departure to get through the security screening process.