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Fly through Security

Top 10 Airport Security Tips to Know Before You Go

In an era of heightened security awareness, it is more important than ever to be a savvy and prepared traveler who can efficiently navigate airport security checkpoints - and get on with your trip. In this spirit of travel preparedness, Travelers Advantage® has developed a travelers' checklist — 10 convenient tips to help you smoothly move through airport security.

"We're trying to help people ease their way through airport security by helping them understand what they can do to speed the process," said Travelers Advantage Vice President Julia Ryan. "We're partnering with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Department of Homeland Security in another step toward keeping air travel safe In future updates of, we will be adding links to TSA Web pages. We'll also include TSA information in upcoming printed publications and electronic communications with our members."

Under the collaborative partnership with TSA and the Department of Homeland Security, Travelers Advantage will help educate the traveling public by communicating changes and developments in security procedures and protocols before the arrive at airports, and will seek to affect changes in traveler behaviors that will get them through security faster and more efficiently.

"Airport security personnel pull people aside for further screening on a random basis," she added. "If this happens to you, don't panic or become upset - taking you aside is just a sign that the system of random detailed screening is working. We're all aiming for the same goal of keeping air travel safe." The 10 Travelers Advantage tips for smooth sailing through airport security are:

1. Pack your laptop so you can easily remove it and send it through the X-ray machine in its own plastic tray. Don't forget to label your laptop computer. These are one of the most frequently forgotten items at screening checkpoints

2. For those of you who still use camera film, store all undeveloped film and cameras containing film in your carry-on baggage. Ask for a hand inspection if you want to ensure that your film is not damaged by the X-ray machine.

3. Avoid over-packing to prevent personal articles from spilling out of your bag if it is opened for inspection. Think carefully about the personal items you place in your carry-on baggage as screeners may have to examine its contents. Consider stowing personal belongings in clear plastic bags to reduce the chance that a TSA screener will have to handle them.

4. If you are bringing a gift, wrap it after you arrive at your destination. Otherwise, you might have to unwrap it to get through security — even if it is in checked luggage.

5. Don't bring items such as pocket knives, scissors or other sharp objects in your carry-on. Pack them in your checked luggage.

6. Avoid carrying bottles of liquid through the screening checkpoint. Purchase any food items to carry onboard the aircraft after you have completed the screening process.

7. As you head toward the security area, take a deep breath and remain calm. Check and be sure you have your boarding pass and a government-issued photo identification card ready for security personnel. Take your time unpacking and repacking your belongings - too many people rush through this process only to find they have left their laptop, keys, or wallet behind.

8. Place metal items in your carry-on bag. This includes, loose change, keys, watches, mobile phones, pagers, and PDAs.

9. Take off your coat (outer coat and sports coat) as you approach the security screening area - you will need to place them in a plastic tray for safe passage through the X-ray equipment. Suit jackets and blazers do not have to be removed, unless requested by the screener.

10. Be prepared to remove your shoes. Many shoes contain small pieces of metal. If you wear a belt with a large metal buckle, suspenders with metal clasps, or metal jewelry, be aware that they could trigger the alarm and prompt a check by hand.