10 Guaranteed Tricks to Breeze Through Airport Security

Airport Security

The recent mysterious disappearance of Malaysian airliner MH370 has brought security issues into sharp focus. Airport security is the “necessary evil” you have to deal with every time you take a flight. You have to go through a barrage of security checks to certify you safe for flight.

From full body scans to x-ray scans, there is no running from security. It can be time consuming and a hassle at times. Today we explore steps you can take to make your walks through airport security a breeze.

1) Dress for the Occasion

Post 9/11, everything going through airports is scrutinized. This includes your clothes. For faster processing, wear something light. Heavy jackets and coats have to go through x-ray scanners and delay your progress. Opt for shoes without shoelaces. You have to remove them for scanning thus something easily removable will do. Avoid any metal objects and if you can’t do without them, opt for few pieces. These include jewelery, watches, rings, piercings, bracelets etc. They can’t go through the metal scanner, you have to remove them. The fewer you have the easier it will be.

2) Pack Smart

Your bags, carry-on or checked have to be scanned or manually inspected airport security. Pack light. This will save you inspection time. Don’t stack up items. Don’t over load items into bags. You might have to remove them at the counter or watch them riffled through by security officials. Don’t pack liquids. If you do, follow the recommended 3-1-1 TSA regulations on liquids. 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized in a clear, plastic, zip-top bag. This will expedite your security screening.

You can check here for an additional list of prohibited items and guidelines.

3) Get Your Documents Ready

Have your government issued photo identification ready and in an easily accessible place. If you are traveling abroad, have your passport ready and ensure its up to date. Carry your boarding pass along with your official documents and produce them whenever they are requested. They will be inspected at different points, ensure you have the right documents.

4) Laptop? Check!

You will need to travel with your laptop often. Especially if you are a business traveler. Laptops can delay your progress through airport security unless you prepare adequately for them.

  • Be prepared to prove ownership to customs especially if traveling abroad.
  • Carry the necessary documentation to prove ownership and payment of relevant customs.
  • Boot the laptop and put it into sleep mode. You maybe required to show its working.
  • Carry the laptop with you at all times. Don’t put it into checked luggage.
  • Protect it from screening machines. If possible, request manual inspection.
  • Have the laptop outside the carry case when you are on the security screening line.

5) Get an Airline Miles Credit Card

An airline miles credit card enables you to earn points/miles from traveling or transacting on it. Airline miles programs also have other perks such as easy upgrades on flights, preferential treatment etc. Among these perks is speedier check-ins and expedited security checks at most airports. This is especially true for frequent fliers who have achieved an elite status level. You can easily reach elite status through loyalty to your program and exploiting any opportunity to acquire bonus miles.

With the right travel bonus credit card program, your airport security woes maybe history!

6) Sign Up for TSA Pre

According to the TSA website, “TSA Pre✓™ allows low-risk travelers to experience faster, more efficient screening at participating U.S. airport checkpoints for domestic and international travel.” Basically, PreCheck allows you expedited security checks at most airports. Other benefits include shorter wait times, shorter lines and improved customer experience. As an added bonus, PreCheck participants don’t have to remove their shoes or belts for inspection. There are no guarantees however. Even when accepted into the program, you may still be subjected to random airport security checks. That said, it beats waiting at the line.

You can check your eligibility here.

7) Traveling With Kids? Prepare Them

Kids can be a major source of snarl-ups at airport security lines. They don’t have to be. You can get them ready and pass through security before you can say Bo! Just follow these simple steps:-

  • Carry toddlers in small collapsible strollers. This makes it easy to bundle it onto the X-ray belt.
  • Dress your kids for the occasion. They have to go through the scanner with you. Avoid metal objects.
  • Baby formula is allowed. Pack it in removal ready kits.
  • Practice with the kids at home. Get them used to the idea.
  • Arrive earlier. Let the kids get used to airport bustle and relax as they watch airplanes take off.

8) Pack Checked Bags Right

Pack your checked bags light. They have to be inspected, manually at times. Don’t use padlocks to secure them since they will be broken. Opt for non-locking fasteners. Only bring what is necessary and pack valuables separately; never in checked bags. Don’t stack books or documents into bags, arrange them neatly and leave enough room for airport security officials to check them through.

9) Bring a Self-Addressed Envelope

Chances are that one of your items might get flagged; even when you have taken all the precautions. The self-addressed and stamped envelope comes in handy here. You can mail the item back home. Otherwise, you have to fore-go it and risk never seeing it again. Always travel with a couple of self-addressed envelopes in case of these unforeseen events.

10) Ask Nicely!

You will be surprised with how fast you can clear airport security if you just ask! Security officials are human, and travelers too. They understand the hassle you have to go through. If you just ask nicely and follow directions, you just might get bumped to a faster security lane. You might be granted an expedited process!

Conclusion

There you have it. Airport security is necessary for our safety at airports and aboard flights. It helps prevent possible disasters and mishaps. As demonstrated, you don’t have to hassle your way through security. With prior planning and taking a few key steps, you can breeze through airport security and spare time to appreciate the crucial role the security officials play.

What other tricks do you use to speed through airport security checks? Please share in the comments!

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Weekly Roundup – Why Should You Travel Africa?

Traveling Africa will give you an expression of what world holds for you. You will get to learn new ideas, new cultures, see splendid Africa’s landscapes, have your time to relax from your obvious day to day routines and having that real life experience you’ve ever imagined.

Safari

When the word safari is mentioned, i always think of traversing Africa Continent while riding on a cosy truck. This is a big opportunity to traverse through big African Cities, come in contact with splendid landscapes, socializing with beautiful and generous Africans, taste their foods and learning their cultures.

Get to visit places you’ve only heard off

Traveling Africa you will have opportunity to view exotic places you’ve read or seen on those documentaries. Think about watching Wildebeest migration in Maasai Mara Kenya, Sossulvei Dunes in Namibia, Pyramid of Giza in Egypt and other tourism destinations in Africa. Don’t just think of those places, its time to use your Credit Card Airlines, take the plunge, visit those exotic places.

Try African Food

Forget those Hamburgers and American Pizzas. It’s time to taste different food from different communities in Africa. Taste Ugali in East Africa, Matoke – steamed, green bananas in Uganda, fufu in Ghana and Injera in Ethiopia. Africans mostly eat unprocessed indigenous foods. It’s your time now to have a bite too.

See Historic Sites

African history dates back to the first hominids. Slavery dominated this region during Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. With these rich history, Africa is home to plenty of Historical sites. Visit Slave Lodge in Cape Town and get to know how slave trade was conducted in Africa and the suffering they went through. Other places to visit are Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, the amazing Fort Jesus in Kenya among others. This is your time now, visit Africa and get to learn her rich history.

Watch Africa’s Spectacular Wild Life’s

Are you eager to see The Big Five in an Hours time? Africa is the place to be. You will have an opportunity to interact with the likes of Lions, Buffalo, rhinos and birds for which Africa is known for. Why not use credit card airline miles to land this Africa trip and enjoy watching varieties of wildlife’s.

Take a break from day to day toils

If you are feeling stressed by your daily tasks, it’s time to get a little rest and relax. Africa is the best place to be. Relax on amazing beaches along the vast Africa continent, visit museums, try a safari or take a book and read in those cosy hotels.

Conclusion

These are just a few reasons why you should travel Africa. This Continent has a lot to offer. Redeem your airline miles, visit Africa; explore, learn and relax.

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Top 5 Secrets of Traveling Like a Rockstar

travel-like-a-rockstar

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Don’t you just envy them? Those people who seem to travel so effortlessly and serenely. While you are fidgeting with your ticket and bags at the airport, they are being whisked away to private airport lounges and first class cabins; bags already checked. While you are stuck in an economy middle seat with barely any leg room, they are enjoying mojitos in first class. That could be you. With a few tricks up your sleeve you can transform your hectic travel patterns and travel like a rockstar. Read on, let me upgrade your travel experiences!

Research, Research, Research

You don’t just get up one day and travel like a rockstar. You plan for it. You roll up your sleeves and research flights to get the best ones in terms of price, timing, seats and convenience. From the research you also determine the best time to arrive at the airport whether you should check-in in advance or not. By the time you get to the airport you are ready. You know exactly where to be and what to do. While others are running amok trying to find their flights and check in their bags, you are thumbing through magazines waiting for your flight.

Get an Airline Miles Credit Card

An airline miles rewards card lets you earn rewards and bonus miles from traveling, purchasing items or even staying at particular hotels. You can redeem these points for a free flight, an upgrade on your current flight or even a stay at an exclusive hotel. Research and sign up for an airline miles travel card that fits your needs. Get a card that offers a huge sign up bonus, a low annual fee, a variety of ways to earn points. Choose a rewards points program that offers a huge network where you can earn and redeem your points. You can redeem your points for the best flights, perks, seats and travel like a rockstar!

Budget Like a Rockstar

You don’t have to pay an arm and leg to travel like a rockstar. You just have to be smart about it. The pros plan their trips meticulously and budget accordingly for their travel. With your research in the first step above you will have established the cheaper routes of travel as well as places to stay. Travel can be expensive. With the right information though, and by taking advantage of offers and discounts, you can travel like a rockstar and no one will be any wiser. Do the smart thing, budget!

Pack Smart

You have probably seen them. People who haul massive suitcases at airports and have to go through lengthy security checks. Don’t let that be you. Pros pack light and smart. Always have pre-packed essentials in small travel containers. Items like underwear, socks, undershirts, toiletry etc. It will save you the hassle especially if you are a frequent traveler. Choose a functional backpack or duffel bag for your items. Have specific spots for some of your regular items. You don’t want to spill the contents of your duffel bag trying to locate your passport!

Travel Like a Rockstar – Free Upgrades

Pro travelers know how to work the airlines. You can redeem your airline miles credit card points for upgrades on flights. What better way to travel like a rockstar than in first class. More leg room, free booze and comfy chairs! Additionally, most airline miles programs have reward levels that award you a status the more miles you earn. With an elite status you get to enjoy elevated travel perks including free bag check ins, smooth flight connections etc. It takes time to achieve elite status. Any status though, however low on the rung will give you a set of perks.

Conclusion

Travel can be a hassle if you don’t plan well. Especially if you are a frequent flier. It doesn’t have to be. With the tricks discussed above, you can transform your travel and be that guy; the rockstar who just seems to waltz through airports and best of their travels. With a bit of research, planning and doing, you can travel effortlessly as well. Transform your trips today and travel like a rockstar henceforth!

What other tricks have you tried that made your travel seem effortless? Let me know in the comments below!

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Weekly Roundup – Common Air Travel Myths

Air travel is a common  and mysterious mode of transport. Riding on a plane is enjoyable but it can be scary especially if you have wrong information about the whole concept of flying. I hereby share with you a few  and common air travel myths believed by so many people across the world.

Planes Dump Human waste While in Air

I can’t believe i was a victim of this myth. In real sense, planes use vacuum system which suctions the waste when the toilet is used and stored on-board in a sewage tank. Waste can drip out of tank due to a breakage or leakage resulting to a “Blue Ice“-Frozen sewage material leaked mid-flight from commercial aircraft lavatory waste systems, a bio-waste mixture of human waste and liquid disinfectant that freezes at a high altitude. Blue ice will always melt and evaporate before hitting the ground.

Modern Commercial Jets fly themselves, Pilots serves as a backup in case of trouble

Ever since i was young, people around me used to claim Modern Commercial Jets fly themselves. Pilots served as  a back up in case of an arising problem. This is totally untrue, though airline computers and electronic control systems allow pilot to fly hands off  immediately after takeoff, through out the flight route. That doesn’t mean the plane fly itself, the pilot is always there to tell it what to do, how to do it and when to do it or rather to control it.

Recirculated Air in Planes do Spread Disease

Most Commercial planes use recirculated air. The myth claims that recirculated air spread disease which is untrue. Air in those planes is filtered by True High Efficiency Filters that eliminate bacteria, fungi and dust thus the air pumped into the cabin is free from disease.

People Get Drunk Fast While in the Air

This is another beautiful myth where people tend to believe the lack of oxygen in an airplane makes alcohol get to brain more easily. This is untrue because according to research, there is no significant difference when drinking in a bar or up in the sky.

Do you believe in myths? Share with us those air travel myths you have ever heard.

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Cut Out the Middle Man

Travelling to your holiday destination – do you love it, or do you hate it? I’m somewhere in the middle, to be honest; I like the excitement, I hate the waiting, and I worry about possible things that can go wrong.

Usually, nothing goes wrong and it’s all very straightforward, but we worry all the same.  Perhaps it’s just human nature.  Or maybe I just get stressed out easily, but I doubt I’m the only one.

The main concern I used to have was what if I missed my flight because I didn’t get to the airport on time. I had a near miss once with a delayed train, and from that point onwards I decided to drive myself and park up at the airport. The first time I booked Gatwick Airport parking, I wondered why I hadn’t done it before! Cheaper for me than public transport, much less hassle, and so convenient, this is a service that I now use regularly. Wherever you fly from, check out what services are available at your airport, as this is a nationwide thing.

Once you’re firmly at the airport, right where you need to be, and in my case with time to spare, you’ll relax much more and be able to kick start your holiday mood, without the worry of being stuck waiting for a bus that is late, or a train that is delayed. Airport taxis can also be quite costly when you compare the price of driving yourself, so this is a definite cost saver, and well as a stress saver.  If there’s a potential source of stress that I can control and save money, it’s a win-win.

The airport itself can be a stressful business, especially if you’re travelling within a large group and people keep wandering off, and even more so if you’re trying to keep your children occupied whilst waiting. The key is to keep calm, try and introduce as much normality as possible, such as a sit down meal etc, and to keep everyone’s minds occupied with activities etc. This is where an iPad or tablet will be invaluable!

Once the stress is cut out of the airport saga then you truly can look forward to your holiday. Head to a restaurant, relax, have a few drinks, but not too many, and try and relax! A good way to add a little glamour into your wait is to look at airport lounges, as these include free food and drink, as well as a quiet sanctuary within the madness of the departure lounge, just be sure to leave yourself enough time to explore duty free!

Cut out the middle man, cut out the stress? I think so!

How do you try to cut stress out of your time at the airport?  Do you take advantage of discounted airport parking?

 

 

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