Flying these days can be a horrifying hassle and nightmare. BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE. It can be a very efficient process. I wish there were television commercials running on every channel continiously, reminding everyone in the world what the established TSA rules are so no one ever has to wonder. If everybody did these things and showed up educated and prepared, nobody would hate traveling. I’m here to help.
Here are some usefuil tips for the next time you have to get on a plane.
Wear shoes that you can remove easily.
Yes, I know - they might not go with your outfit. And no, there will not be a time when the TSA agents WON’T ask you take off your shoes. You have to do it. And even if there was one time you didn't have to do it, or there's a machine you can walk through and still keep everything on your body - ASSUME YOU HAVE TO DO IT. I’m not saying you have to wear slippers, but if the 17 year old in front of me today wasn’t wearing vagina-high-corset-lace-up-zipper-button-snap-locked-welded-shut-boots, I could have been writing this an hour ago.
Make sure your laptop is easily accessible in your carry-on bag.
Yes, you will have to take it out. Yes, a laptop and an iPad are viewed as 2 computers. No, you cannot leave the laptop in its adorable Marc Jacobs laptop case - girl in front of lace-up-boots chick. No, you cannot put anything else in the bin that carries your laptop. This picture is a good example of how to hold up the line. Don't do it.
Take off your jacket.
I know. You’re self conscious about your arms and you’re only wearing a sheer tank top underneath your jacket. Guess what? It’s 2 minutes and nobody is looking at you anyway, I promise. Everyone just wants to get through the line. Like me. Who’s waiting for you, woman from Kansas, to take off your jacket without complaining.
Forget about bargaining with the TSA agents.
They aren’t going to let you slide. You aren’t going to be the recipient of a special TSA favor today. Or any day. They don't have bleeding hearts, they don't feel your pain, they don't share your unique frustrations. They aren’t going to let you bring your bowie knife on the plane and they are going to take it from you. You’re not the one who gets to bring their 3 gallon canister of hairspray onto the plane. They don’t care if you’re going to miss your flight. They are there to follow certain protocols that deal with national security. It’s useless to pitch them. Chug that bottle of Arizona Iced Tea and get it moving. Which brings me to the liquids...
LIQUIDS. OH MY GOD THE LIQUIDS.
You can carry liquid, in no larger than 3 oz. containers, on the plane with you as long as they fit inside ONE clear, closed, 1 quart plastic bag. That’s it. You can’t carry an unlimited amount of 3 oz. containers. You can’t have five 1 quart plastic bags. You can’t have them strewn about your luggage. They all need to be in the one bag. No, you can’t bring your full size Bed Head Root Boost styling product on the plane, Marc Jacobs-laptop-case-girl. They’re going to throw it out. TSA doesn’t care that you paid $22.99 for it and they definitely don’t care what your hair will look like at your friend’s wedding. NEITHER DO I SO SHAKE YOUR TAIL FEATHER.
SMILE AT EVERYONE.
Yes. Do it. I smiled at the curb check dude yesterday and he upgraded me. TSA will not hook you up, but airline people will! BE NICE! THEY HAVE THE POWER!
Even if you have a story about you or a person who has been the exception to any of these tips I’ve given, you should STILL go in with the mindset that all of this is true.
NOW SIT BACK, RELAX AND ENJOY YOUR FLIGHT!