No. 1: Relax and enjoy your flight to the vacation
of your dreams. After all, it's YOUR VACATION. You're supposed
to relax. If you packed wisely, checked in early, arrived early at the
airport, prepared yourself for a smooth security screening and boarded
on time, you have virtually eliminated the stress that can be caused
by travel procrastination.
No. 2: Stay close to your departure gate.
Board when your group number or row is called. Group or row numbers
are printed on your boarding pass. You may be selected for additional
screening during the boarding process.
No. 3: Don't forget your photo ID.
If you are over 18 years of age, you will need a photo ID. You must
have your ID in hand at the security checkpoint and during the
boarding process. Make sure the name on your ID matches the name on
your boarding pass.
No. 4: Dress for success to navigate security.
Metal may look cool to you, but the screening machines hate it.
Avoid wearing shoes, clothing, jewelry and accessories that contain
metal. Place your outer coat in a bin. Don't take wrapped presents to
the airport. Ship them in advance or wrap them upon arrival.
No. 5: Arrive early at the airport; avoid the lines.
Think 60, 90, 120. Arrive 60 minutes before your flight if you are not
checking any luggage, 90 minutes if you have luggage to check. For
international flights, allow two hours. If you didn't check in online,
you can go to the nearest Self-Service Check-In machine to check in at
the airport, make seat selections and print your boarding passes and
your receipt, thus bypassing the potentially long lines at the ticket
counters. Curbside check-in also is available in most airports. If you
need wheelchair assistance, check with a skycap at curbside or with a
ticket agent upon arrival.
No. 6: Check in early. You can check in for
your flights online prior to departure.
No. 7: ID your baggage, place identification tags
on the inside and outside of your baggage. Label your
laptop computer as well. Laptops are the number one forgotten item at
screening checkpoints. And don't lock your checked baggage. If
security personnel need to check your baggage, they may have to break
the lock to gain access. There are new locks on the market that only
can be opened by the TSA. For more information, go to the TSA's Web
No. 8: Pack smart with security in mind.
With increased security at every airport it only makes good sense to
pack accordingly. All your baggage will be screened and possibly
hand-searched. Pack your medicine, jewelry or other valuables in your
carry-on baggage. Do not pack or bring prohibited items to the
airport. Prohibited items are weapons, explosives, incendiaries and
even seemingly harmless items that could be used as weapons. For a
complete list of prohibitions, visit the Transportation Safety
Administration's Web site at
tip: place all undeveloped film and cameras with film in your carry-on
baggage. Checked baggage screening equipment will damage undeveloped
No. 9: Travel during "off-peak" times. The
major airport "hubs" tend to get more crowded during the "peak"
traveling times (early morning, late afternoon). Try to travel during
off-peak times (mid-morning through early afternoon or in the evening)
from Monday through Thursday.
No. 10: Don't procrastinate. Book early
during the summer months, popular flights sell out early. Generally
speaking, the longer you wait, the more expensive your trip.
Source: American Airlines