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The New Airport Security

Mar 13, 2008
The airport security system in place since 9-11 is a complex system in place only to help keep the skies safe. At first, airport security went a little crazy and confiscated anything from toenail clippers to ball point pens, but over the past years the system has taken on a more realistic but still careful method of safety. With a little commonsense and simple preparation, you can reduce your hassle at the security checkpoints and get to where you're going with less stress.

In this instance, a little preparation does a lot. While packing your bags for your trip, pack as though everything may be opened and briefly inspected. If you are packing shoes, for example, in something that will be put through the x-ray, try not to place anything dangerous looking, no matter how small, next to the shoes. Airport security's machines have no depth perception so if you have a small pointed tip pencil next to a shoe it may look as though you hid it in the shoe. If you are traveling with anything that be used in any way as a weapon, pack it in your checked luggage.

Things such as scissors, knitting needles, nail files, and personal razors would be best suited in your checked luggage; however, some of the restrictions with these items have begun to ease up a bit. Nail files can only be a certain length; however, and scissors must be blunt or curve tipped. One common item that is confiscated more than anything else is lighters. If you smoke or carry a lighter for another reason, check it or plan on bringing a book of matches.

What you are wearing can also play a role in your chances of being stopped. Excessive jewelry, fancy accessories, and metal studded clothing will do nothing but increase your chances of a delay. Try to avoid wearing baggy clothing or carrying large bags with you onto the plane as well.

Ensuring you take out all metal items such as keys, PDAs, cell phones, and loose change the first time you go through the metal detector will keep the process faster for everyone. It would be a good idea to keep a small pocket in your carryon empty to place some of these things there while you are waiting for your turn to walk through. As you place your bags and items on the conveyor belt for the x-ray machine, keep a close eye on them. Rarely will something be taken, but some passengers may mistake your bag for theirs as they are being rushed along.

Keeping your boarding pass, passport, and/or drivers' license, readily accessible will also greatly help you to keep moving with no stops. Security screeners, airline employees, and other workers will greatly appreciate the fact that you are prepared and are keeping up the pace of the whole airport experience.

Following these tips should help speed along your experience in the airport. Less stress is always good and should help to kick off your vacation or travel experience to a good start.
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