Many of us think that the least expected part of the airplane journey is going through airport security. Because we want to have a great journey, without the airport security fuss, we prepared several tips that will come in handy.
It is well known that airports worldwide have different standards and procedures and there are also rarely any signs about what needs to come off or be taken out at some airports, making it a real pleasure to be yelled at in the queue because you’re not telepathic.
You can develop a set of tricks to speed your way through security, besides taking out the usual liquids and gels. There are two key points you should pass over: getting yourself through the human scanner without setting off the alarm and getting your bag through the X-ray without needing a secondary search.
2 Types of body detectors
Did you know that there are generally two types of primary scanner in use? There is an older version of metal detectors that detect the metal on you. It will be more difficult if you have a metal replacement knee. Wearing shorts could help you in this case.
Body scanners basically work by zapping you with either low-energy X-rays or microwaves and comparing the results to what their programmers think a human should look like and what a human with anything threatening should not.
At first, these devices sent some sort of naked negative pictures of bodies into the backroom. I know you all think about aspects such as privacy and misconduct. Maybe those are good reasons why body scanners were invented. Nowadays body scanners work differently: the security staff presses a button for either male or female and a computer algorithm compares the shape of the body to a dataset.
Modern body scanners have limitations too when it comes to unusual situations such as non-binary or trans, or the airport staff confusion whether one is a male or female. Be prepared for this kind of situation as they could happen.
Furthermore, these machines don’t always recognize the shape of larger bodies and they often alarm on love handles or a belly. What you should do in this situation? You have the right to ask for any subsequent pat-down screening to be done in private.
Choosing the right clothes plus other tips
Avoid the type of clothes with the chunky zipper or worse, buttons, as metal is bad for metal detectors and body scanners both
Take care of shoes, especially dressier shoes, which can often have a metal support shank hidden inside. You usually won’t know until they set off the alarm at some airport somewhere, but if you do know then perhaps pack them instead of wearing them. And consider something that you can slip on and off easily — whether that’s actual slipons or a part of laced shoes you can tie loosely until you get through security.
Don’t wear loose clothing or too many layers. If you have the habit to keep tissues, lip balm, etc in your pockets, empty them before going through the checkpoint. Consider a jacket or hoodie, especially one with zipper or button pockets, to disgorge your things into if you keep things like your wallet and phone in your pockets rather than in a handbag.
Don’t forget to keep your chargers, batteries and cables separately.
Send your bags through first, so they come out and you can unload the trays straight into them.
Have a safe trip and a speedy check-up!