Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Streamline airport security for faster boarding



OptionsDID YOU know that you can greatly simplify your transit through the airport TSA by purchasing a pre-check screening option?  It costs $85 but lasts several years and is worth its weight in platinum.
NEARLY 100 airports participate in this expedited arrangement.  We found out about this by chance, when we were randomly selected to try it out.  But anyone can get it -- if you pass a basic security scan.  One applies on line, answering a few  questions. A vetting process occurs and if you are accepted as "pre-screen" material, your status will last five years, and may then be renewed. THE RANKING allows the traveler to enter a special line where you need not remove your shoes and belt.  Even more appealing, you may keep your laptop in its case, carry-on or back pack.
YOU ALSO get to keep your belt and jacket on! To find out more and which states and airlines
These travelers are in line to check through bags.
participate in pre-check screening, go to 
Learn the 3-1-1 rule for carry-ons: 3 maximum 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottles or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized,
clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger in the screening bin. The one-quart bag per person limits the liquids each traveler can bring. If you're not checking bags, pack your carry-on carefully.
Be prepared. Each time TSA searches a carry-on it slows down the line. Practicing 3-1-1 ensures a faster and easier checkpoint experience for all.
(3-1-1 is for short trips. If in doubt, put liquids in checked luggage. Some countries are sterner!)
DECLARE larger liquids. Medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in a zipped bag. Declare these for inspection at checkpoints. Officers are usually co-operative but may conduct additional screening.
If you're planning to contribute an item to your host's party
or dinner table, bring the ingredients and cook it there!
*IF YOU HAVE a favorite holiday food or beverage creation and it's at all "runny" or liquid, either ship it ahead, pack it carefully in checked baggage, or prepare it at your destination. Prohibited and likely to be confiscated are cranberry sauce, eggnog, salad dressings, dips, salsas, soups, gravies. And of course, guacamole!
IF YOU don't want your gift-wrapping tampered with, plan to wrap your presents when you arrive.
If they look at all suspicious, you run the risk of having them unwrapped.
YEARS AGO, a well dressed Japanese businessman gave me this tip leaving Tokyo:
A lighter load makes a happy trip!
"Get behind someone dressed like me.  I travel all the time.  I zip right through the line."
He also cautioned me to avoid families, teens, children or people who look like neophytes to travel.
My most memorable "quick zip through TSA" trips were with my mother, who had a pace maker in her last years.  On  several forays to Europe, we were all ushered through a special line with my mother.  She was patted down and "wanded" while we zipped through the x-ray machine and had our carry-ons briefly surveyed. For more on traveling with a disability or medical condition, go to 
Pointers for flying in comfort await!

COMING SOON:  You're through TSA, you're on the plane, buckled in.  Now you're off to Europe -- or
across the U.S., south to the Caribbean, lazing in the Greek Isles, Mexican Riviera or elsewhere.  We'll help you arrive feeling "sunny side up" rather than "over easy"!  Remember to explore, learn and live, and check us out Wednesdays and Saturdays at:

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