December 11, 2015

December 11, 2015
How to Get Through an Airport in Record Time

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Friday and we have almost made it through another work week. I hope you have had a beary safe and great week so far. Dab the AIDS Bear is on the road until the end of the year speaking at events and doing our holiday parties for children living with HIV. So stay tuned for more new pictures and slide shows soon.

Flying is a hassle since 9/11. It starts from the minute you show up at the airport. So today I will blog about how to get through the airport in record time.

Get priority status on the airline you fly the most

Airline loyalty programs offer faster (in theory) check-ins, including security points, in some airports. They will also tag your bags for priority handling, which in some cases means seeing your bags appear early on the baggage claim roundabout.

Take advantage of the skycaps and curbside check-in

If you are checking bags and the lines inside are long, this is the best use of your money. These guys are pros, helpful and knowledgeable. (They should also be tipped generously for this.)

Dress for security

Do we have to remind you that METAL sets off a METAL detector? This means keep the metal in your wardrobe at a minimum if you want to breeze through the machines and get to your gate: leave the bling, studded boots, rings, and belts at home, or at least put them in your bag. Remember to empty your pockets of all that change as well.

Remember: No liquids over 3.4 oz

It is the simplest of rules to understand: Remove that bottle of water, along with any other large bottled liquids, from your bag. Buy your water or fill your (BPA-free, of course) bottle after going through security. If you simply must take 12 ounces of shampoo or moisturizer, then check that bag! And don't forget that clear plastic bag to tuck them all into.

Apply for TSA Precheck

TSA Precheck puts you in a dedicated line that is often quicker ó you donít have to take your shoes off, you can leave laptops and iPads in their cases, and you can usually skip the full-body scanner. Similarly, Global Entry for International travel allows you to skip the immigration line and head to one of the automatic kiosks. There is also a dedicated U.S. customs exit for Global Entry passengers.

Donít dilly-dally

Walk quickly, use people movers (stand left walk right people!), take stairs, and do whatever else is needed to keep moving things along.

Use roller luggage

I mostly check bags, but if I just have a carry-on (a surefire way for a speedy exit off the plane), I mostly use a four-wheel roller Ė they roll quickly and take corners well.

Sit near the front of the plane

Using miles or airline loyalty programs can help you snag the best seat. If you want to be up and out as soon as possible, choose an aisle seat, and business or economy comfort is ideal. This strategy usually puts me up nearest the exit for quick departure from the plane.

Donít push

Please, donít be the pushy passenger trying to run off the plane once it has touched down. It just creates a bottleneck, and everyone gets mad. Everyone is eager to get off the plane, so calm down, be patient, and wait your turn. The exit happens faster that way. If you've planned ahead the way I suggested, you should be all ready to get going.

Observe the pros in action and follow suit

The "pros" are mostly savvy business travelers, and they're easy to spot: look for suits, gold-toed socks, Tumi luggage, and lack of gear. They get through every step of the process. When in doubt, imitate them.

Hope you have a beary safe and great Friday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab