What if I told you that getting to the airport super early wasn't necessary? What if I also told you that one time on the way from Marseille to London, I made my flight within 30 minutes of arrival. Now, I'm not telling you to walk in 30 mins before every flight and think that you'll make it - I got lucky, but these tips sure did help.
I will tell you that no matter what your mom says, you don't need to be at the airport two or three hours early. You will end up sitting around forever. 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes is usually enough. Do keep in my that you know how crazy (or not) your local airport is better than I would. Also consider the time that you are traveling. Of course, I usually find that flights around 8 AM or earlier, don't draw as many crowds. If you're traveling midday lines are usually longer, so use your judgement there.
Here's how to get the security fast AF:
1. Separate Liquids
If you want to get more shuteye and spend less time going through airport security, separate your liquids before you get to the airport. I've witnesses countless people rummaging through their suitcase while holding up the line, just to organize their liquids.
Don't be that person. Things go much faster when you can just pop your items into a bin and keep it moving.
2. Simple Shoes
Sorry, but your cute, new thigh-high boots are better kept inside your luggage. If you want to zip through security, you'll need shoes that can come off in seconds. I usually opt for sneakers while some people prefer sandals or sliders. Either way, just don't wear shoes that are hard to take off or that require lots of lacing. Keep it simple, travelers.
3. Better On Top
Leave your electronics (laptops & ipads) on top of your clothing inside your carry-on. If you're carrying a book bag, use the laptop compartment to store your device. There's been a few times where I've stored my laptop in between my clothes for extra cushion, but this only creates more work for you.
Try leaving your laptop lying atop your clothing until you get through security, then you can layer it between your belongings.
5. Use More Bins.
I always use multiple bins because if I don't TSA will always end up telling me to separate things, so why not beat them to it? Use one bin for your electronic device. A second bin should hold your liquids and the third bin would hold your actually purse, book bag or laptop bag. If you have a carry-on luggage, pop it on to the conveyer belt behind your bins.
Don't forget to push your belongings down onto the conveyer belt.
6. Pack Light
It's simple. The moment that I started packing lighter, traveling became simpler. I started getting through security faster and realized that I could arrive later. When you have on lots of layers, jewelry, boots or other fussy clothing, it can add a few minutes to your TSA journey.
Besides, packing light has its true benefits. The less I bring along (and the cheapest aka not my most valuable possessions) the more comfortable I feel while traveling. There's less fear of losing something that you love if you don't bring it at all.
When you pack lighter, you feel lighter and you travel better.