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Security System?
A couple weeks ago I was standing in the security line in Hartford. The guy in front of me had a small pouch on a coiled cable dangling out of his shoulder bag. I mentioned it to him and he assured me that it was "part of [his] system." I watched him as he went through the security screening and came to the conclusion that his system sucks.

I know different people have different systems for getting through security but as the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. If your system does not speed you through security, then it doesn't work.

The number one thing I notice is that everyone stands in line at security and shuffles along. When they finally get to the screening area, that's when they start preparing for security. Then they complain about wasting time in line. To me, it is obvious that the time spent waiting in line can easily be used to streamline the process. After 687,000 miles of traveling, here is the system I use to zip through security:
  • Check-in on-line whenever possible, otherwise check-in and check any bags as needed.
  • As I walk into the terminal or while checking in, I remove all metallic items (keys, phone, watch) and place them in my backpack or luggage. This way I can retrieve them at my leisure instead of using an additional bowl that I have to watch and scramble to collect.
  • As I wait to have my ID checked, I get out my ID and my boarding pass.
  • After having my ID checked, I return it to my wallet or bag and keep my boarding pass out.
  • While waiting for screening I untie and loosen my shoes and remove my laptop from my backpack. If I have liquids (in a clear zip top bag of course), I remove those as well.
  • When I arrive at the screening area, I take a single tray and put my laptop and liquids in it. I remove my shoes and place them directly on the conveyor belt first. Then I send through my backpack, the laptop tray, and any luggage in that order.
  • Keeping my boarding pass, I walk through the metal detector.
  • When my shoes come out, I place them on the ground and step into them.
  • When my bag comes out I unzip it.
  • When my laptop comes out, I drop it into my bag, zip it up and sling it over my shoulder.
  • When my luggage comes out, I grab it and walk out of the security area, passing 2-3 people who are still trying to gather their items
  • When I get to a clearing, I stop to tie my shoes.
  • When I get to my gate, I remove my keys, watch and phone from my bag and am back to normal.

Posted 06/23/2008 07:04 PM in Ramblings, Travel | Total Comments: (3)
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Nice system
I guess I just gotta pack less, so I'll have that convenient space in the pockets of my backpack carry-on to squeeze my keys and phone in to avoid needing a tray. Never needing to retie my shoes helps, though.
Submitted by Dan on 06/23/2008 08:11 PM

i agree, i especially hate the people who 'didn't realize' they need to remove their shoes, etc etc...i wonder how the new system at midway is working out (different lines for experienced vs. newbie travelers)
Submitted by caroline on 06/25/2008 04:24 PM

Some updates
I bought a Titanium watch last year when I went to Japan and since it's non-ferrous, I did not have to remove it walking through the magnetometer (metal detector). My belt also went through fine. That is, until they put those stupid new body scanners in. Now they require you to remove everything, even your wallet and papers from your pockets. If these new body scanners are supposed to be better and provide more details to the TSA, why do I have to take off more stuff? Shouldn't they be able to see that I have a watch on and that it's just a regular watch? And shouldn't they be able to see through my wallet? Also, how is a full body scanner more secure if you can pick a security line that doesn't use it (you can do this in Cincinnati and Hartford)? Silly. Luckily, I've notice some airports have stopped using their full body scanners, hopefully because enough people have complained or the TSA has realized how silly they are.
Submitted by filbert on 09/13/2010 03:48 PM

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