(Closed) What are your best flying tips? Airport/flight/packing/security/etc…?

posted 6 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
5921 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

Nothing major, but Darling Husband and I always pack half of each others stuff in the others bag. That way if one bag is lost, we still have half of our stuff, LOL.

And I always pack my cell charger in my purse or carry-on.

Post # 4
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off (but bring socks if you’re sketched out by your bare feet on the ground and were planning on wearing flip flops or something)

Make sure all your liquids are under 3 ounces and in a 1 quart see through ziplock that is in an outer packet of your carryon so you can easily get to it.

If you’re bringing a laptop on carryon, make sure it’s in a pocket you can easily pull it out of.  There’s nothing worse than fumbling to try to get all your stuff in and out of the buckets! 

That’s all I can think of for now. Are you flying out of Albany?  

ETA: I like to bring a change of clothes in my carry on in case my checked bag gets lost.  

Post # 6
1668 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Don’t wear a belt…it’ll slow you down you down at security. And, wear flip flops or something similar.

Post # 7
11351 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

* You cannot really lock your luggage anymore, since TSA reserves the right to go through it, so make sure to carry anything valuable with you, and do not put it in your luggage.

* You need to put all of your liquids and gels in your checked luggage and/or in one, single one-quart sized plastic bag. That includes toiletries, contact solution, liquid make up, mascara, etc. 

* No single item in the one-quart bag can exceed three ounces.

* I know they’ve made some minor modifications to some of these rules in the last few years, but I still always try to adhere to the early, post-911 standards of not carrying nail clippers, nail files, scissors, etc — anything sharp — in your carry-on bag.

* If you’re carrying a laptop, either get a TSA approved carrying case or be prepared to dig it out and put in on the belt.

* Be prepared to take off your shoes, so I’d recommend wearing something easy to get into and out of at the screening checkpoints.

* Many airlines now charge for one or more checked bags.  Most airlines require checked baggage to be 40 pounds (some are 50 pounds) or less, or you’ll be charged extra fees.

Those are some of the ones that come to mind for me.  If I think of more, I’ll add them.  I hope you have a great trip!

ETA:  Oh, and don’t plan on bringing any beverages through the screening checkpoint.  If you want to get water for the plane, you’ll need to purchase it on the other side of the screening point. If you buy it earlier in the terminal, TSA staff will confiscate beverages.

Also, you’ll need to keep your ID handy and show it to several people while you go through the checkpoint.  Some people buy things to wear around their necks to help carry their IDs so they’re not constantly trying to keep track of them while pulling their suitcases, etc.  You’ll likely need to still take it out of whatever you may have it in, but that way your hands will stay free.

Carry-on items are limited to two per person, INCLUDING a purse. So, if you have a carry-on, and a laptop, and a purse, you have one too many items and should plan to consolidate that into two items.

Post # 9
1229 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2019

Have your passport, tickets, and any other forms of identification handy–since you’re going out of the country. Also, get there early! Expect things to go wrong or the line at security to be really long. It’s better to get there early and have time to kill than to almost miss your flight.

I haven’t been to Mexico, but it was significantly easier to at the airports in Europe than it was in the airports in the US. When we asked about taking our shoes off in Amsterdam the security guy scoffed and looked at us like we were crazy.

Post # 10
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

The biggest hassles happen in the Airport from the time you check-in until the time you board.

For check-in have all your paperwork organized and in-hand, including your tickets (or e-tickets), Passport etc.

Be sure that your checked baggage meets both the size and weight restrictions imposed by the Airline (on their website).  And that you have not packed anything from the NO GO listing (ie aerosols, limitations on batteries, etc)

Check-In hasn’t changed a great deal from prior to 9/11… just that some airlines now charge for baggage (NO FREE Bags whatsoever).  And some also charge for choosing seats etc.

You can also use the Airline’s Website to find out what their carry-on limits are in regards to size, weight and number of items (and which items count how… ie some airlines count Ladie’s Purses as an item, others don’t).  A few Discount Airlines even charge for Carry-on Items.

There is a long list of restricted items now for Carry-On.  You can find the latest list on the US Customs & Border Protection Website = http://www.cbp.gov

Read it, print it off, pack accordingly (I haven’t gone into the long list of restricted items… because it is such a long list… pay special attention to any liquids, gels, makeup etc, that must be of a certain size, and packed into a particular size of a ziploc bag)

When going thru Security expect a LONG LINE UP… (more normal than not) so allow plenty of time before your flight for this process.  Delays are often the norm, and things can get really bogged down in Security.

You will have to put your carry on bags, purse, laptop case thru the scanner.  Additionally you will have to empty your pockets etc into a tray / bin… so small change, keys, etc.  You will also have to put into the bin… your shoes, belt, any hats, sunglasses, and any small electronic items… ie Phone, iPod etc.  You are allowed to hang onto your Passport and money.

In the meantime, you’ll be walking thru a scanner… and if the Security Folks have any concerns they’ll use a wand to screen you some more, or pat you down.  In some airports, there are also HUGE full body scanners… they sort of look like an upright tanning booth (or a round shower stall)… you walk in, put your hands over your head, and they do a scan of you (person in another room that cannot see you… sees / reads the scan).

If all is good, you are free to pick up your stuff and proceed to the Gate.

Sometimes the Security Folks, will want to further exam your bags (hand search / look) or your electronics (turn this on please etc)

All in all, it is a VERY POOR Customer Service experience… but they have a job to do (and I value that).  It is a tough job.  So no complaints from me (maybe the occasional “gosh I wish this was easier, or not so time consuming”) but I’m genuinely ok with it if it means everyone gets the same treatment that makes it safer to fly (never want to see another 9/11)

Personally, Mr TTR and I like to get it over and done with asap, and get get to the Gate area, and find a bite to eat & drink, and enjoy a Magazine or our Computer Toys until our flight is called.  Security is really a small pain for us, because we are not one of the MANY who seem to arrive at the airport short of time to begin with, and then the experience (and watching the clock) makes it only worse.

Hope this helps,

NOTE – Altho THE RULES are the same across the Board by US CBP, they can be applied differently in every airport (or even depending on the day, time, or WHO is working).  This is part of the game-plan to keep travellers on their toes, and the CBP able to read people better.  So… it is important to be flexible, and not get flustered.  It can be frustrating in that you expect one thing, but something else is asked of you (or shouted at you)… take it all in ease… it is what it is… and is over relatively quickly and you’ll soon be on your way.

EDIT – Lol, when I began drafting this topic, there were no replies yet… so I apologize for the items that I’ve listed that others have also covered in the last 9 replies (25 Minutes)

Post # 11
692 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

No liquids, etc on carry ons unless they are 2oz or smaller. Anything bigger goes in checked luggage.

I fly all the time without hassle:

-Mexican airports have a lot of robberies. As you cross TSA make sure you ALWAYS know where your most important documents, cash, etc is and keep it close to you. Same as you walk outside the airport into your rental car, etc….be careful. Especially if you “look American”. Don’t look all glitzy, flashy, and vacationy. Look and be comfortable.

-If possible stay clear of lines where strollers or babies are ahead of you. Those usually take forever and hold up the line.

-Laptops must be OUTSIDE of case and on their own container when they go through the scanner.

-You will be asked to take off your jacket, so beware, and don’t go topless underneath or something lol.


Post # 12
5662 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Brielle gave. Great list. You can actually still lock your luggage but only with a tsa approved lock (which you can buy anywhere), and as Brielle said, be prepareto for them to go through it anyway since they have universal keys. However if they do, they leave a slip of paper in your suitcase stating that they did so. Still keeps baggage boys etc out of your stuff.

We tend to pack one large suitcase with our clothes and liquids and then one carry on rolling suitcase with random things like extra shoes, snorkel gear etc that is hard to make compact with the clothes and all. Then we also have to only pay to check one bag. My biggest tip for packing for a trip is always to roll your clothes. You will save so much room this way, they pack more tightly together, and dont wrinkle as easy. In fact real simple magazine had an article about this last month:



Also even though you can’t take liquids through security you CAN take empty water bottles. I always travel with my camelbak water bottle nd just empty it beforehand. This is just me though and the fact that I carry my water bottle everywhere with me.

DONT fall for any of the people trying to sell you stuff you when you get off the plane in Mexico, Mexico is notorious for trying to sell you packages and activities straight outside of security, just say no gracias and keep on walkin to the taxi line up!

Mostly. Don’t worry too much and have fun!

Post # 13
2073 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’d suggest packing a change of clothes (or at the very least a couple pairs of underwear) in your carryon bags.  We had a disastrous connection experience last Christmas on our way back from the East coast and I was wishing I had another set of clothes.  

Pack any necessary medications into your carry on.  Don’t gate check it!  If the airline says the overhead bins are full, at the very least pull the bag out before you hand over your bag.  Make sure you bring the pills in their original bottles.

Pack all your liquids into a ziplock baggie before heading to the airport.  The TSA used to provide baggies but not anymore.  

I totally agree with the posters that suggested wearing flip flops and no belts if you can.  It makes going through security much easier.  Ipads and e-readers usually can stay in their bags but each airport can have different policies on them.

Great idea about splitting each other’s clothes into 2 suitcases in the event one is lost.  Also, airlines are cracking down on the weight of checked baggage.  A friend of mine flew recently and was charged an extra $50 because her bag weighed 50.5 pounds~.5 pounds over the limit! She didn’t have the option to take stuff out.  

Checkin online before hand if you can.  Pay bag fees online if you can.  The less interaction you are forced to have with airline staff, the better.  


Enjoy your trip!

Post # 14
35 posts
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Linz1231:  SO smart! lost luggage is a nightmare.

I fly every other month from East Coast to West Coast so >7 hours travelling. I really don’t like airplane/airport food because I like eating healthy, so I always pack my own food with disposable tupperware. However if you are going to Mexico since it’s another country you probably won’t be able to pack fresh fruits and vegetables. Snacks should still be okay though!

Post # 15
115 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’d second Brielle’s list, except that you can lock your luggage, it just has to be a TSA approved lock- they have a red icon on them, and you can easily find them at Target, etc. In the vein of helping to prevent problems with lost luggage, in my carry on I always pack a toothbrush, sample sizes of soap, toothpaste, shampoo, etc (of course with liquids being 3 oz or less), a couple of changes of underwear, a pair of pants and a 2-3 tops so that if my luggage is lost, I’m at least covered with basics for a couple of days and (hopefully) won’t have to buy expensive replacements.

For security, I strip my wallet of everything non-essential, so that I minimize risk if it is lost, and have a Google doc with a list of all of my credit cards’ toll-free numbers, and the addresses and phone numbers of all of any hotels I’m staying at. I also always e-mail somebody (usually my mom) our itinerary. 

My other tip is to enjoy drinks at the hotel bar pre-flight. Makes the experience much more bearable, and airport bars are good people-watching spots 😉

Have fun!

Post # 16
38 posts

If you haven’t already booked your flight and are flying coach, get a seat towards the back. Most airlines board coach passengers from the back of the plane right after the board first class so if you have carry on luggage it’s less hassle trying to find a home for it in the overhead bins than if you board later. Ignore this advice if you have a connecting flight and your time is tight!

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