Speeding through Security

No one likes airport security, but if it makes travel safer I’m happy to put up with some inconvenience.

Here are my travel hacks to make security as easy as possible.

  • Give yourself plenty of time so you don’t stress:
  • Wear a jacket or waistcoat with enough zipped pockets for, coins, mobile phones and anything else metal then you can just put the jacket in the tray for X-ray;
  • If they have body scanners, rather than a metal detector you will also need to put you wallet in your jacket pocket as well;
  • If you wear a belt get one with a plastic buckle;
  • Slip on shoes, or elastic sided footwear (in USA only);
  • Have liquids in a zip lock bag in an external pocket of your carry on;
  • Have your lap top/tablet in a easily accessed place;
  • Put your hat in the tray (many hats have steel stiffeners)

If you are travelling a lot around the USA it is worth getting TSA pre-clearance.

Remove Old Luggage Stickers

Unless you want to lose your checked luggage!

History

Forty years ago, and more it wasn’t unusual to see suitcases like this.

I suppose that people regarded it as a harmless status symbol; to show how well travelled they were.

As everything was handled manually at a much slower pace there was less chance of luggage getting redirected.

Now

When you check in a bar code sticker could be placed on your checked in bag.

Sometime there may even be a integrated circuit  chip inside the sticker.

These stickers allow the airports and airlines to run high speed baggage conveyors and sorting systems to get you luggage to its destination.

If you have got an old sticker on your bag then you could find your bag has been sent to your previous destination.

Often a check in agent will ask you to remove stickers, however they may not notice a sticker, or you might use self check in.

Travel Hacks

Before you leave for the Airport:

  • Check your luggage carefully and remove all stickers.
  • Put you own tag on the handle with your name, email address and destination airport. ( add a phone number if you know which phone number you will be using at your destination)
  • Add a sheet of paper to the inside with the above information.

Impressed by Gatwick Airport

I flew into Gatwick Airport on an Emirates A380 a couple of days ago and was impressed by the experience.

From landing to being on a train to our final destination in 30 minutes.

Much less than the hour that I typically estimate to get out of an airport after an international flight.

We did WIN the carousel Lotto with our checked bags* being among the first few bags down the chute

Automatic Gates

The new automatic gates, with facial recognition technology, for those of us who have a chip passport were really slick.

Much better than the clunky two stage system installed at Australian Airports.

Automated Shuttle

The shuttle from the North Terminal to the South terminal was also very convenient .

It drops you a few steps away from the station which has frequent trains to London as well as the south coast, where we were heading.

Bad Point

The only criticism was that as you arrive in the baggage hall there is no visible message board telling you which carousel to go to.

We had to fight our way through a stream of passengers from another flight to find a board; which then told us to retrace our steps!

*Yes I did check in a bag, but we are travelling for five weeks, and I like to avoid wearing shirts too often.