What’s My Line? A Handy Guide to Proper Airport Security Screening Line Preparedness
We’ve all been there. Standing in line at your local coffee shop, desperately jonesing for your morning java fix. As you wait patiently in line, the person in front of you has finally reached the barista! You’re next! However, when they get face to face with the barista, they still haven’t figured out what they want to order! They take 10 minutes to decide (take a chance)! And, of course, to add insult to injury, they don’t have their payment ready, as they dig around for their credit card. While this scenario may seem a tad hyperbolic, it is not too far from the truth!
The Line Dance of Life
The reality is that the average human spends approximately 6 months of their lives waiting in line–that’s about 3 days a year! I don’t know about you, but I’d like those months back! And while Canadians are known to be good at standing politely in line, no one in their right mind wants to waste 3 days a year standing in one when they could be using those precious days for literally anything else! I mean an-y-thing: learning to play the African nose-flute, catching up on the new tax laws, reading the instruction manual for my dishwasher…
Why all this kvetching about lines? Two words: airport security. If you’re like me, you probably say a little prayer to the airline Gods beseeching them to ensure that the people in front of you know how to prepare for the security line. There are few things more stressful in life than trying to make it to your plane on time while being unnecessarily delayed because the people in front of you aren’t security line savvy! If you are new to airline travel or just don’t travel frequently, the following security line preparedness information will help you breeze through the line and keep it moving for those behind you!
Airport Security Screening
These handy suggestions come from the Government of Canada’s website, so you know it’s trusted and true!
Since all passengers must pass through a walk-through metal detector, we suggest you decrease the likelihood of setting off the alarm:
- Dress comfortably with easy-to-remove outerwear, jackets, belts and slip-on shoes
- Limit jewelry to small earrings, watches, wedding bands/engagement rings, eyeglasses
- Wear clothing without snaps, metal buttons, or studs
- Avoid wearing shoes with metal arches, buckles, steel-toes or shanks
- Avoid wearing belts with metal buckles.
- Remove hidden body piercings before you fly
How to Pack
Your carry-on baggage and bins will go through the baggage screening x-ray for careful examination by a Screening Officer. Here are a few tips to minimize the potential for the further delay of an additional carry-on baggage content search:
- Avoid over-packing! Always pack smart.
- Ensure your carry-on baggage has easy access to remove your laptop computer, video and film cameras.
- Place personal toiletry items in clear, see-through bags. Only bring liquids, aerosols and gels that are packaged in containers with a capacity of 100 ml / 100 grams (3.4 oz) or less, and ensure that the containers fit into one transparent, closed and resealable plastic bag with a capacity of no more than 1 litre (1 quart).
- Exempted liquids (breast milk, medication) should be packed so that they can easily be removed from carry-on baggage for inspection.
- Avoid packing gifts and souvenirs containing liquids, aerosols and gels in your carry-on.
Remember, all passengers have to go through airport security screening. Common courtesy and patience go a long way in making the process less stressful and more efficient for everybody. Make sure you:
- Tag your carry-on and checked baggage with your contact information.
- Have your boarding pass ready to present for verification. At some airports, the validation of your boarding pass will be done automatically by a scanner.
- Give yourself plenty of time – go through pre-board screening well in advance of your flight especially during peak travel periods (early morning, noon, and early evening).
- Leave empty baggage carts outside of the screening checkpoint.
- Remove coats, suit jackets and blazers and place them in the bins provided.
- Empty the contents of your pockets and place these items in the bin before walking through the metal detector.
- Keep all phones, MP3 players and GPS equipment in your carry-on bag. They do not need to be screened separately.
- Remove laptop computers and netbooks from their cases and place them in the bins provided.
- NEVER joke or make “small talk” about bombs, firearms or other weapons while going through pre-board screening.
Click for More Info
For more information, including a handy video, click here to view the Government of Canada’s webpage on Airport Security Screening.