8 Tips To Expedite Your Time At The Airport

Last September, while traveling with my wife, the security lines were running a bit slow at DFW International Airport.  The TSA officers were being thorough in their process of screening baggage and travelers as they passed through the metal detectors. Since 9-11 I have been grateful for the increased security measures.

Not every traveler shares my gratitude. Especially when they are running behind.

A young man, in his early 20’s, seemed particularly agitated in line.  He was running late, and he was trying to get through so he could get his Starbuck’s fix before boarding.  His constant mumbling caught the attention of security.  By the time he finally made it to the luggage belt, he was furious.  Not noticing the jammed belt, he placed his bag on the end and started to walk through the metal detectors.  The belt backed up as often is the case when a security officer wants to take a second look at a bag.  His bag came crashing off the belt and onto the floor.  In a huge baritone voice, he cursed at the security workers.  Everything froze to a halt.  He started to argue with another TSA agent who calmly called over her superior.  “What seems to be the trouble…” were the last words I heard.  I just laughed because I knew at this point the guy would be lucky to catch his flight.  I did not even want to think about how intrusive the security measures might be for him.  What was he thinking?

Here are a few tips for making your time at the airport a little less awkward:

  • Travel early in the day.  If delays start to happen, they will affect more flights toward the end of the day.
  • Fly non-stop. The shorter the travel time, the better.  The more flights you have to transfer to, the more chance for trouble. This is especially essential when flying with a group of people.
  • Get rid of the liquids, sharp objects, and anything that looks like a weapon. They will take them anyway so you might as well deal with it without being asked.  Plus you drive the people in line behind you crazy!
  • Carry a well-stocked backpack.  If you get delayed, have a good book with you.  Carry some snacks to hold you over.
  • Try to carry on your luggage.  Although it is not always possible, it does make transfer time a lot easier.  Just be careful about what you have packed.
  • Plan for the worst.  No matter what, you’ll eventually make it to where you need to go.  This could be a great chance for you to catch up on your sleep.
  • Keep smiling.  Security has it a lot tougher than you do.  They just want to protect us.  Make their day easier through a bit of patience and kindness.

After a decade working in parish youth ministry Shawn started Wonder Voyage Missions. Over the last 15 years, WVM has led thousands of pilgrims to over forty countries. Shawn is a storyteller and an award winning filmmaker. He is an author who brings the gift of engaging narrative to our journeys. Shawn is dedicated to creating voyages that give people abundant opportunities to encounter God.

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