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Breeze Through the Airport Like a Pro

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traveling causes anxiety. Learn some of the tips and tricks that frequent flyers use to make the airport experience less stressful by understanding how things work. Arrive at the airport with expectations and a plan.

Arriving and departing the airport can be much less stressful if you eliminate the parking situation. No more looking for a spot, waiting for a tram, loading your luggage into the tram and making the loop around the airport. Use a chauffeured car service to be dropped off in front of your terminal and in front of a sky cap kiosk. It’s free! You can get your boarding pass, check your luggage and be on your way to the security checkpoint in less than five minutes.

Breezing through the TSA checkpoint can be easy with TSA Precheck, Global Entry or Clear. If you travel frequently, this is a must. It will save you time and hassle. No more belt removal, coats, shoes etc. You will have your own special lane and rarely hassled about liquids or electronics needing to be removed from your bag. If you don’t have membership in one of these programs, plan ahead and know what to expect. Laptops, iPads and other electronics must be taken out of your bag and placed in a separate grey tub with nothing else in it. Place everything in your pockets in your carry-on bag BEFORE you ever enter the TSA line. The only two items that should be in your hand is your ID and your boarding pass, preferably on your phone. As soon as you are cleared to proceed to the screening area, place your ID and boarding pass/phone in your carry-on. At the same time, remove liquids from the top of your carry-on and place them in the grey tub with your shoes and belt. If you have a coat, place it in a tub by itself also. Use as many tubs as you need. It is okay if you need four of them. Wear shoes that slip on and slip off. Avoid shoes you must tie. Do not put your carry-on suitcase, backpack or purse on the table until you reach the X-ray machine. Avoid lines with families with children, college students and elderly people. They tend to foul up the system and likely don’t have much airport experience.

If terminals are connected, you can use any TSA checkpoint and then head to your proper terminal. There are usually multiple checkpoints in an airport and if you find one with shorter lines, use it if you can. As a side note, never step on the yellow footprints outside the metal detector. Place your feet to the left or right to avoid standing where thousands of sweaty bare feet have stood.

As your items come out of the screening process, quickly gather them up and move out of everyone’s way to the chair area. This is where you should put your shoes back on and reassemble your belongings. Never do this in the screening area.

Learn the layout of the airports that you use regularly. It can really save time if you know where the TSA checkpoints are that are less used. Know what restaurants are available inside and outside of the secure areas of an airport. Nothing is worse than finding out the only good food is outside the secure area and having to complete the security screening process again.