5.19.2009

Travel Etiquette~The Security Check Point



Many major airports have added the “self-select” traveler lanes at the security check point. These lanes have been added to increase efficiency and control traveler frustrations. The 3 available choices are...

1. Families and Special Assistance- This lane is for families traveling with small children and strollers, those carrying liquids over 3 ounces (usually baby bottles or medicine), anyone new to flying, and anyone needing special assistance. My grandfather would take this lane because he has a pace maker.




2. Casual Traveler-This lane is designed for anyone with multiple carry-ons and those familiar with TSA procedures. The term “familiar” means people who are not new to flying but fly less than twice a month. A good example of a Casual Traveler would be my parents. They probably fly 3-5 times per year.





3. Expert Traveler- This lane is designed for travelers who are always ready! Their laptops and plastic baggies of liquids and gels are out and ready to drop in the bin. These people are experts at TSA procedures. They fly more than twice a month and they’re light travelers.





There is a slight problem with this system, it’s “self-select.” Y'all, it’s just good etiquette and nice to pick the lane that works best for you and your travel partners. If you’re not sure, don’t overestimate your security check point abilities. It’s always better to underestimate your abilities. Nobody wants the person behind you to act frustrated, growl at you, or say nasty comments under their breath because you picked the wrong lane. I've seen it happen. No, I've never treated someone badly because they picked the wrong lane, been annoyed and didn't say anything... yes.

I meet the requirements for the Expert Traveler lane. I don’t have kids yet but when I do I will respect the “expert travelers” and go through the “families” lane. If it’s not fast enough for me, I’ll give myself more time to at the airport. That’s a promise and just basic good manners.


As I go through the security check point, I always think it would be fun to have a race (with a $1,000,000,000 cash prize) for the person who can get through the fastest. I would win!

13 comments:

Kari said...

Well, I would obviously fit into the FAMILIES category. But, before I had kids...I would probably still go to that one! haha before I had kids...I have only been on a plane a handful of times. And, only once have I travelled on a plane with a child.

Casey said...

I think I'd head over to the expert lane. I usually get all my stuff ready, take my shoes off, and wait for people who need a ziploc or didn't take their laptop out. Grrrr!

I will say my worst security check was when moving over here. We had out cat and had to take him OUT of his carrier and walk him through. Um, he didn't go for that. I'm sure people were pissed at me.

sparrowsandsparkles said...

I love your advice: don't overestimate your checkpoint abilities! :) I am always ready and prepared at those lines, but, traveling to and around Europe with 3 kids under age 8 this summer, we will be in that family lane! :)

Jules said...

I love these travel posts! This is one of the major annoyances for me at the airport. I would say that I'm a casual traveler, but get very annoyed when people don't have they're shoes off, laptops ready to go in the bin, etc. I need some more patience.

My name is Megan... said...

good tips! I am liking this. I am always prepared with my baggies!! and easy off and on shoes...and those who aren't..well sometimes it kinda BUGS ME!!!

midnight macaroons said...

Once you travel enough you can tell where everyone's from. I had this one lady in front of me in line make a huge stink over "mouth wash." She was over the top and making a big scene. I laughed and asked her, "Are you from L.A.?" She told me she was. I've made it a game to place people by region at airports. I've gotten really good at it and my hubby has joined in the fun. Rules: They cannot be wearing a cheese hat or anything obvious like that. And you get the point if you can narrow them down by state but get two points if you nail the city they are from. Yes, we get very bored at airports.

The Cape House said...

That is an interesting idea but I'm afraid that most people fall into the second category and that would get full of people. I'd be too intimidated by the expert line so I'd probably go in the middle category even though I always approach with my laptop at the ready.

Shoshanah said...

I love this idea! But I haven't seen it anywhere. I've even flown through LAX, and haven't seen them. Hopefully it will catch on in more places.

Sweet Simplicity said...

Amen! I hate waiting in line because someone needs to take off their belt, coat, watch, etc. Some people just move so slow!

Angela said...

Ooh I'm in the expert travel lane too! I was a flight attendant so I know how to get all my stuff in a bin, my shoes and coat off, my laptop separated, and my boarding pass in hand in 10 seconds flat...okay that may be a slight exaggeration, but I am fast!

Domestic Diva said...

For years I was an expert traveler. Now with the girls, we only travel once a year to go skiing. All my years for traveling ..I am the A type Mommie when traveling. A special roll-on with all the children's needs. Evereything is in a bag and labeled. I have the med bag in purse ready to be handed over. I have a little routine for all our shoes off ...we usually get through in minutes.
I get crazy when I am around people who are totally clueless! The best is when a person is on the People MOVER and is just not moving!
xxx me

Natalie said...

This is so funny you post this. We just got back from the Dominican Republic. On the way THERE, I got my carry on pulled to be 'inspected'. I stood there thinking that I would be fine. She opens it up and the first thing she pulled out was a BRAND NEW $12 can of sunscreen - GONE (my husband threw it in there .. not thinking .... and that joker flies A LOT). THEN, she opened up my makeup bag - that's when it hit me - CRAP - my Biosilk - $45 bottle of hair stuff. I knew there was less than 4oz in the bottle, but the bottle itself was 12oz -- she took the WHOLE thing. I was so mad, and I have to say, I acted ugly. It was 5:45 AM and I pretty much begged her to let me put it in a smaller container - NOPE! UGH!! I totally learned my lesson....husband? not so much .... he got busted coming HOME with a bottle of bug spray (from when we went on the zip line) and ANOTHER bottle of sunscreen!! SERIOUSLY!??!?!!!!! I think we lost $45 worth of that stuff - not to mention the rest of my Biosilk!!

I am traveling to Memphis next week and you better believe I am going to be perfectly packed .... 4oz in baggies and everything!

Monogramchick said...

Isn't this a fantastic idea!? I have to admit that we fly quite a bit and have honed or security line procedures quite well. It is frustrating when you're ready with your baggie and laptop out, shoes in hand and someone in front of you is fumbling around and must walk through the metal detector twice before they've removed all metal!

Happy Friday, Jill!