No one wants to spend more time than necessary waiting in an airport terminal. But this isn’t the time of year to test how close you can cut it. The holiday throngs can lead to unpredictable back-ups everywhere from airport entrance roads to the queues at check-in counters and security lines.
Arriving to the airport 45 minutes earlier than normal might make a world of difference, especially if you find yourself stuck in a security line filled with slow-moving families making their once-a-year holiday trip. And, if you know your airport is especially prone to long holiday lines, consider arriving up to 90 minutes earlier. Remember: If you miss your flight, this is a tough time of the year to find empty seats on other flights.
Another reason to arrive early: Security remains heightened at most U.S. airports in the wake of recent terror attacks, adding yet more unpredictability.
Pack your carry-ons with security lines in mind. Remember, that unless you’re eligible for the TSA’s Pre-Check lines, laptops and liquids must come out separately to go through the screening checkpoints. And know that certain food items may be difficult to bring through security lines.
For the infrequent fliers, remember that most liquids are prohibited from carry-ons unless they are in containers of 3.4 ounces or less and are held in a clear quart-sized plastic bag. (See the TSA’s full “3-1-1” rules on liquids here). Some exceptions are made for liquids related to medical or childcare needs, but it may be smart to brush up on those rules.
Pack so that your laptops, liquids and other items can be quickly taken in and out of your luggage. That will not only speed up your trip through security, but will also shorten the wait for those behind you.
Culled from USAToday.