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The airport remains the DMV of the travel world; the lines are long, the atmosphere is achingly dull and the customer service ain’t always great. But savvy travelers know there are smarter, faster and more sane ways to tackle the O’Hare Internationals and Hartsfield-Jackson‘s of the world. Follow the advice below next time you fly the friendly skies.

Related: Does your pet need a passport? Find out here

1. Check in online
Are you really not doing this yet? Not even when the airline sends you an email encouraging you to do so? You can literally check-in on your smart phone and either print the boarding pass at home or receive an electronic boarding pass with a QR code that agents are able to scan both at airport security and at the gate. Seriously, start doing this.

2. Get pre-screened
You know those VIP passengers you see gliding effortlessly through airport security? That’s happening thanks to TSA Pre✔, a popular program available through the agency and, coming soon as a special new free benefit, to Orbitz Rewards Platinum members—for free. Benefits include a vetting process that allows travelers to skip security hassles like taking off their shoes or removing laptops. If you’re not already an Orbitz Rewards member, you can sign up instantly here—it’s fast and it’s free.

3. Heed the 3-1-1 rule
If you’re like us you probably carry with you toiletries you’d rather not have scrutinized by TSA agents. Avoid getting personal items manhandled by observing the 3-1-1 rule which states that liquids, gels, lotions, etc. must be 3.4 ounces or less per container; must be in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag and must be limited to 1 bag per passenger.

Related: Why should you book a Europe trip right now? Here are three good reasons

4. Dress wisely
Foolish is the passenger who chooses her travel day to break in a new pair of shoes. Choose broken-in footwear that is easy to slip on and off and is also without laces or buckles (but avoid flip-flops since bare feet are a germ magnet). Also ditch the belt, stow jewelry in a carry on and stick to easy on/off garments like jackets and hoodies with zippers.

5. Have your driver’s license, passport or state ID out and ready
We’ve literally been yelled at by TSA agents who caught us fumbling with our drivers licenses while annoyed passengers waited impatiently. Avoid this by either stripping your wallet of all but its barest essentials or by investing in an ID wallet that’s big enough to hold ID, credit cards, a little cash and nothing else (you won’t need the Petco rewards card in Guam).

Learning how to breeze through the airport is the perfect reason to book your next trip!

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Tagged: Family time

Note: Orbitz compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Jason Heidemann

Jason Heidemann

Jason is a Lead Content Specialist for Expedia Group, and manages content initiatives across numerous Expedia-owned brands. His work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Time Out, the Huffington Post, Chicago Magazine, Passport and many others.

2 thoughts on “5 secret ways to breeze through the airport”

  1. Very helpful. Thanks

    P.S. The TSA stole my new dress shoes on my last trip from San Diego Charlote S.C. I guess that’s the extra cost of travel since we can’t stop them fro stealing from us.

  2. Very good advice. When I used to travel for business it was mind boggling to see how many people were ignorant of the tsa requirements and delay everyone. My electric razor was stolen out my checked luggage at the Burbank airport. I guess the baggage screener needed a shave.

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