It's the end of the year, otherwise known as the BUSIEST time of the year for airports and travelers. Here are ten things NOT to do when trying to pass TSA quickly and efficiently.
Mistake #1: Wearing complicated footwear
Unless you’re 12 or younger, or 75 or older, or a TSA Pre traveler—in which cases you needn’t remove your shoes—think slip-on footwear. Laces and buckles and straps that take time to undo and re-do will not win you friends in the security line.
Mistake #2: One word- METAL
Big jewelry, belts with metal clasps, even under-wire bras and body piercings can set off the machine. Be prepared to remove them or else get patted down by TSA officials.
Mistake #3: Dressing in bulky, loose-fitting garments
You might as well just ask for a pat-down.
Mistake #4: Not wearing socks
Walking barefoot on a dirty airport floor—a floor already trod by hundreds of other bare feet and thousands of germ-covered shoe bottoms—can leave you with a contagious fungus, like the kind that causes athlete’s foot, or a staph infection.
Mistake #5: Wrapping gifts beforehand
TSA officials could make you unwrap a gift—if they need to inspect it—so either ship gifts ahead or wait till you’re at your destination to wrap them.
No baseball bats, golf clubs, lacrosse sticks, or ski poles are allowed through security, nor are any tools that are greater than seven inches in length.
Mistake #7: Carrying foods that aren’t solid.
You can bring a homemade pumpkin pie through security but cranberry sauce, jams, and the like are allowed only in amounts of less than 3.4 fluid ounces and only in a clear, quart-size, zip-top bag. Baby formula, breast milk, and liquid medications ARE allowed through security.
Mistake #8: Packing the wrong toys
Purchased a toy gun for a nephew? Or a brass trumpet? Do not try to bring it through security. (Yes, musical instruments must undergo screening too—and brass must go in checked luggage.)
Mistake #9: Choosing the wrong lane
This is where having kids comes into play- TSA offers a family lane. USE IT!
Mistake #10: Taking out all your electronic devices
Only laptops need to be removed from your carry on- everything else (cell phones, tablets, e-readers) do not.