(Hint: It Could Be You) Learn the Rules of Airtiquette to Avoid Being 'That Person'
BOSTON, MA -- (Marketwired) -- Jun 02, 2016 -- With airport security lines growing longer, and wait times rivaling actual in-the-air flying times, it's no wonder patience is wearing thin. To find out what irks travelers the most about the pre-flight experience, Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, conducted a survey of 2,039 Americans about the airport security process.
More than half of the respondents who have traveled in the last 90 days (54%) have been caught in long security lines during that period, and 7% missed their flight as a result. To avoid the hassle, 59% of all surveyed say they'll arrive at least two hours ahead of their flight next time.
The biggest pet peeve for all respondents was waiting in line (31%), which solidly beat out removing shoes, belts and layers (20%), redressing and reassembling luggage and personal items (15%), getting patted down by TSA (9%), having to open up luggage (laptop, liquids, etc.) (9%) and the full body scan (6%).
When stuck in a long line, travelers' number one frustration was fellow passengers who were unprepared for security procedures (34%). Following closely after were too few TSA checkpoints open (29%) and then too few TSA agents working at a checkpoint (15%), slow work pace of agents (14%) and TSA PreCheck staff not taking passengers from other lines when they can (8%). Despite the wait times, 62% say they have no plan to enroll in TSA PreCheck, while 38% said they'd fly at off-peak hours and on less busy travel days to avoid the line-ups. See more results and details in The waiting game: A survey of Americans' airport security experiences.
To help keep airport aggravation to a minimum, Cheapflights.com has also compiled 16 rules of airtiquette: Airport edition to keep travelers working together from the front door all the way to their airplane seat.
For starters, remember these basic rules:
- Get carded: Boarding pass? Check. ID? Check. Whether
you're a frequent flier or travel just once a year, you know the
drill, so stop acting surprised when you're asked to show them.
Shave off seconds in the security line by pulling out these items
and having them in your hand before getting in the TSA line. And
put that phone away (unless it has your boarding pass on it) well
before it's your turn. Keeping the TSA agent and your fellow
passengers waiting because you are more focused on your Facebook
feed than your surroundings won't win you any friends
- Family feud: If you're traveling with kids in tow,
decide in advance who is holding what and which caretaker is
helping which child hoist what items through the scanner and
ushering the children through security. Assign everyone a role and
practice, practice, practice before getting to the airport.
Underneath the arch of the metal detector is not the time to argue
over who is folding the stroller, who is holding whose hand and why
did so-and-so bring this or that toy. Remember to place strollers
and car seats on the scanner belt and babies should be carried
through a walk-through metal detector by a parent or guardian.
- Don't bring everything but the kitchen sink: Even if you
are traveling with kids, pack light. Airlines have restrictions on
the number of carry-on items for a reason. A good rule of thumb: If
you can't carry it yourself without assistance from a luggage cart
or a posse, you've packed too much. If you're traveling solo with
your brood or you're a fashionista who insists on bringing loads of
luggage, do us all a favor and check it. Contain yourself so we
don't all have to helplessly watch you single handedly maneuver a
truckload of trunks, two strollers and three screaming kids through
security. Finally, make sure you don't have any prohibited items in
your checked baggage. If you are unsure if an item is permitted
through the TSA checkpoint, check the TSA's "When I Fly, Can I
Bring My...?" feature, which allows travelers to type in an item to
find out immediately if it can be placed in a carry-on bag, checked
bag, both or neither. TSA also has My TSA, a free downloadable app
that has the same feature.
- Bag it: You know the routine by now. Your 3-1-1 bag of
liquids, gels and aerosols must be removed from your carry-on bag
and placed in a bin. Before your trip, throw all your little
liquids in a quart-size zip-top bag and be ready to remove the
liquids from your luggage for inspection. Savvy travelers stash
liquids in an easy-to-reach spot in hand-held luggage. Avoid
sticking your baggie of liquids in your rolling luggage, which
requires unzipping your suitcase, unpacking to unearth the liquids,
repacking and a likely wrestling match with the zipper to re-close
your suitcase. Stick your liquids in your purse or backpack where
they are easy to access.
- Don't argue: If at any time during the security
screening process you feel frustrated, just go with the flow or, if
you need to vent, take out your aggression on social media later.
This isn't the time to talk back to the TSA or play "Are you
smarter than a TSA agent?" Focus on being as cooperative as
possible for a speedier experience. Ask any questions you have
about the security process prior to arriving at the airport. The
TSA recommends passengers call 1-855-787-2227 (toll free) 72 hours
ahead of travel for information about what to expect during
screening and receive answers to questions about screening policies
- Bin it: Pack your laptop and tablet in an easily
accessible place like the side pocket of your suitcase or a
compartment in your backpack to make it easy to slide the device in
and out of your bag. Easy in, easy out = perfect packing. Don't
forget to place your laptop (or, in some cases, tablet) in a
separate plastic bin. You'll want to check the rules of the country
you're in before you reach the airport -- while the U.S. allows you
to leave tablets in your carry-on, others will make you separate it
in the same fashion you would a laptop.
If you're flying this summer and want to be the Emily Post of air travelers, consult Cheapflights.com's complete 16 rules of airtiquette: Airport edition at www.cheapflights.com/news/airport-security-etiquette. And for the complete results from our Survey of Americans' airport security experiences, go to www.cheapflights.com/news/american-airport-security-survey.
About Cheapflights.com, part of the Momondo
Founded in 1996, Cheapflights is a leading global flight comparison and deals publishing platform. It is now a market leader in the UK, U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand generating over $3 billion in global downstream revenue for its partners as it expands into numerous other territories. More than 120 million users visit its websites and apps each year, receiving more than two billion search results a month from across 900,000 routes. The 10 million strong opt-in subscribers to the Cheapflights newsletter receive the best deals from over 120 travel businesses -- for whom it has driven more than $65 million in revenue this year. Together, the Cheapflights platforms generate enough bookings for its partners to fill a Boeing 747 every five minutes.
In 2011, Cheapflights became part of the privately owned online travel search and inspiration network, Momondo Group.
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