How to Avoid Long Airport Security Lines

A recent survey by Airfarewatchdog found that the most dreaded part of the travel experience wasn’t the traveling part at all. Instead, almost half of respondents (48.5 percent) said the pre-boarding process (checking in, going through security, etc.) creates the most stress. 

And while we can’t help you avoid lines altogether (we’re good, but not that good), we do have some ways to get you through them faster. Note, these tips do take some effort, but we think you’ll thank us later as you’re speeding past the dreaded, 200-plus person, wrap-around-the-terminal, “OMG, will I make my flight?!” security lines.

Fly Domestically? Get TSA PreCheck.

Before you check in, sign up for TSA PreCheck. You can apply online and will need to schedule a brief in-person interview. Once approved, access allows you to go through security without having to remove your laptop or liquids (they still need to be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less) from your bag, or remove your shoes or light jacket. At just $85 for a five-year pass, we believe the time and money is well worth it, especially if you’re a frequent traveler.

International Travel Plans? Go Global Entry.

Are you an international man of mystery? Or, maybe you just travel internationally? Either way, Global Entry may be the option for you. Priced just slightly more than PreCheck at $100 (interview also required), it gives you the same PreCheck perks domestically, but has added benefits for international travel. Global Entry lets you speed through both the immigration line and the customs line. For anyone who has stood in a long customs line, we think you’ll agree that you’ll make up the money spent in time saved pretty quickly.

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