So you’re all ready for your trip. You’ve got your tickets, all your necessary travel documents and your proofs of identification (at least two). You’ve packed your bags, the ones for check-in and carry-on, and made sure they’re correctly and visibly tagged with your name and address. With everyone heading home for the holidays, you want to make sure get on your flight in time. Here’s some tips to help you breeze through the checkpoint:
- Arrive on time – the general rule is to get to the airport at least 3 hours before your flight if it’s international, and 1 ½ hours if your flight’s domestic. Also be sure to give yourself enough time to check your baggage and get through security.
Have all your necessary documents ready – make sure you have your boarding pass and valid government IDs (at least two) ready when you get in line.
Dress appropriately – remember that you’ll have to take off all coats, blazers or sweaters along with your shoes, and place them in a bin. Try to avoid wearing bulky sweaters, and shoes that are hard to remove and put back on. Be conscious of any metal in your belt or any article of clothing.
Loose metals belong in your carry-on – make sure to put any loose metal items, like coins, loose change, keys and jewelries in your carry-on bag.
Large electronics DON’T belong in your carry-on – oversized electronics like laptops, DVD players and video cameras that use cassettes should be taken out of your carry-on and placed in a separate bin. Cellphones, iPods and other smaller electronics can stay in your carry-on bag.
Follow the 3-1-1 rule – liquids, aerosols and gels should be kept in the 3-1-1 format. Your one quart-sized clear baggie goes in a separate bin. Exempt liquids like medicines, baby formula and other items should be declared.
I guess the best advice I can give you is to keep your cool and follow all the security guidelines. And for heaven’s sake, don’t ever joke that you’re carrying some kind of bomb with you. After 9-11, airport personnel lost all sense of humor, and you’ll most probably end up being thrown out of you’re flight and being detained by authorities!