No-Hassle Tips for Getting Through Airport Security


At Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca

At Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca

Travel Tips from Merle Minda


  • First and most important: Get to the airport early!
  1.  No longer can you simply sail up to the airport 45 minutes before your flight departure time;
  2.  Parking is often very full; same with Park n’ Ride lots so it may take a while to find a spot;
  3.  Security takes time – you never know how long those lines (and waits) are going to be – this is especially true if you are traveling on a weekend or holiday or even a busy weekday.
  4. Don’t take chances; arrive early (2 hours or so before your flight) – get through security and then you can relax, shop, eat or just hang out with the comforting knowledge that you are completely checked in.
  5.  Also be sure to get to your gate NO LESS THAN 30 MINUTES BEFORE THE DEPARTURE TIME. You can get bumped if you are not there – and also, if you are there, you might snag an upgrade!
  •  Be Prepared: Get ready for airport security beforeleaving home:   
  1.  Put carry-on-on liquids, no more than 3 ounces each, in one see-through, 1-quart plastic bag;
  2.  Put all metal items, keys, cell phone, watch, clunky jewelry, etc. in a plastic bag or in a purse that can go through the scanner bin; unpack your computer for the scanner.
  3.  Keep Christmas presents and gifts unwrapped.
  •  At the airport:
  1. Take off shoes, jackets or cardigans, coats, (wear slip-off shoes – it’s easier);
  2.  Men, take off your belt;
  3.  Take out your computer; put it and other electronics in a bin for the scanner belt.
  4.  Wear clothes without metal in them, like jeans – TIP: Jeans have lots of metal (zippers, grommets, studs, etc.) and often will get you pulled over for an extra scan or pat-down.
  •  Pat-downs and airport scanners:
  1.  Follow all directions from TSA personnel;
  2. Don’t wise-crack, complain or make jokes;
  3. Let TSA personnel know if you have a metal implant in your body;
  4. The pat-down is over in a few seconds and, although indeed they are more intrusive than they used to be, keep in mind that the TSA people are just doing their jobs;
  5. The body scanners use a tiny amount of electromagnetic waves; the radiation emitted is minimal, equal to natural exposure during 2 minutes of flying.
  6. Scan images: Yes, TSA personnel see a body image, but they are not interested in you or your body; they are just looking for any problem materials.
  7. You may refuse the scanner but then you will definitely have a more extensive pat-down search.

 Best advice: Follow TSA orders, don’t complain and just get through it quickly.

If you don’t cooperate fully, you may not be allowed to fly!

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