HOW TO GET THROUGH AIRPORT SECURITY GRACEFULLY (Or At Least Without Raising Suspicions by Fumbling Around and Acting Like a Dolt)
1. Safety starts at home. If youll be checking luggage, put anything that could be used to make a bomb or hurt someone in the luggage youre going to check.
2. Pack smart. When packing, either pack your toiletries (liquids and gels) in the bag youll be checking or transfer them to small (under 3 oz.) containers. Put the small containers in one large Ziploc bag. Pack the Ziploc bag at the top of your carry-on bag so you can retrieve it without having to rummage around.
3. Whats up with that? Security people always insist on seeing laptops and other computing things with their very own eyes, so pack them where you can get to them easily.
4. Wear a jacket with zippered pockets. The more pockets the better. When you get to the security line at the airport, transfer everything from your other pockets to the jacket pockets (coins, keys, guitar picks, everything except your boarding pass, passport (see 5) and electronic things (see 7)). Then zip the pockets up. Put your jacket in one of the handy plastic bins they provide for putting your stuff through the x-ray-metal-detector-conveyor thing. Wait for the security guard to decide the optimal time to push the bin through.
5. Keep your boarding pass and passport close at hand. With all the ruckus with your stuff at the security station, its easy to lose sight of your boarding pass and passport. Dont put them in the handy plastic bin. Security people get bugged if they have to back up the conveyor to fish them out. Keep these documents in a special pocket on your person so you can quickly present them on demand.
6. Dont wait for an invitation. Before the security guards have a chance to ask, take off your shoes, belt, watch and jewelry (rings, studs and all), and put them in a bin too. Security folk respond well to such proactive behaviour.
7. Show them that your liquids, gels and electronic devices pose no threat. Again, dont wait to be asked. If you packed properly, you can now quickly reach into your carry-on, pluck out your Ziploc bag of liquid/gel stuff and put it in a handy plastic bin. Same for any laptop, digital camera, iPod, cell phone, PSP or other hand-held electronic device. If you have titanium knees, nows the time to fess up.
8. Dont just cooperate: Collaborate! Youre the taxpayer here. Dont shuffle through the whole security thing like youre on some death train to Dachau. Keep your head up, meet their eyes, anticipate their demands, and act like you truly appreciate the grave national importance of what theyre doing. After all, youve got nothing to hide. Right?