In an ideal world, travelling would be hassle-free. You can wear whatever you want; no one will care. You can go to the airport with bottled liquids and not be asked to check them in or surrender them. You can go through the security without a complete stranger feeling the small of your back, your torso, and your chest to make sure you're not carrying something lethal. But the world is not perfect and far from being safe. The threats are real, and if you want to get to your destination in one piece, you should be thankful that airports take security matters seriously.
You may not be able to change airport policy (or eradicate world threats for that matter), but you can certainly make your airport experience as comfortable as possible. You can begin by ensuring that passing through security will be smooth and one of the most efficient ways of doing this is knowing the worst things to wear in an airport (and not wear them).
1. Jewelry, or anything that will set off metal detectors
Airports have metal-detecting machines in abundance and chances are, you will go through lots of them. If you want to pass through without delay, then don't wear anything with metal, such as earrings, bracelets, and other accessories. During our travels, we see that earrings cause the most problems. While taking them out, they might drop and due to their small size are hard to detect. Imagine having to remove them one by one before you can pass through, yes, it's quite a hassle. So if you are the type of person who is rather impatient or maybe in a hurry, it's best just to avoid wearing anything that will set off the detectors to prevent delays.
2. Hard to remove shoes
The security doesn't give much of a fuss on closed shoes unless it has metal details for a reason stated above. The most common type of shoes that security personnel asks to be taken off during an inspection are boots. Again, the goal is to go through security in a breeze, so it's wise just not to wear shoes that take forever to remove.
The belt buckle is another trigger for metal detectors. Also, it's standard procedure in some airports to ask passengers to remove the belt during inspection regardless if it has a buckle or not. To avoid the unnecessary hassle, wear something that doesn't require the use of a belt. If you must wear one, then be ready to unclasp them off your waist before going through inspection.
Another part of airport's standard procedure during the screening of passengers is the removal of our jacket. By now you should be able to pick up on the pattern; anything that the security will ask you to take off, shouldn't be worn. This is not to say that you are not allowed to wear a jacket, especially if it's cold, but when going through security, make sure that you are not wearing anything that will make the inspection extra long and tedious.
5. Statement shirt with an offensive message
You want to be cool and funny, but the airport is not the proper venue for it. Save your shirts with offensive messages when hanging out with friends, don't wear them in airports especially when you are flying from or to a conservative country. Consider it a sign of respect to the people of that region who may not be able to understand or appreciate the humour in your shirt. Sometimes just a country flag on a shirt could be deemed offensive in some countries, so consider what you are wearing.
6. Loose type of clothing
As much as possible, refrain from wearing loose clothing. Though not exactly forbidden, some TSA agents take particular attention to people wearing loose clothing especially those big enough to hide items deem to be prohibited.
Sometimes minutes can make a difference when you are late for boarding so being prepared to rush through security can be great to avoid missing your flight. By following these tips, you should be able to rush through security hassles free.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marjorie Gavan is a writer by profession and by passion. She has a degree in B.S. Journalism and now has 15 years of writing and editing experience under her belt. She currently works as a knowledge specialist in an IT company in Quezon City, Philippines. She chronicles her travel adventures in her blog, Coffeehan.