How to Get Through the Airport Screening Process Faster When Traveling for Business

May 21, 2013

Traveling for business is a common routine; what isn’t, is the hectic journey you come across going through pre board security every time you fly. For many travelers, airport security screening means long lines, invasion of privacy, delays and sometimes missed flights. GardaWorld is working closely with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) to ensure that every traveler experiences a positive journey through pre board screening while ensuring the highest standards of security. Our partner, CATSA, has developed a few tips that have proven to be handy while passing through airport security screening.

Have your boarding pass in hand ready for presentation. Although many travelers think that they should hand over their passport while going through pre board security, screening officers do not need to see your passport at this stage.

Identify your bags with both your work address and the contact information at your destination.

Electronic equipment such as iPods, PDA’s, mobile and smartphones do not need to be screened separately from your carry-on luggage. Screening will do no harm to your devices. Unbeknownst to the majority of passengers, this tip can help quicken pre board screening.


Laptop computers, however, need to be screened separately. Be prepared to remove them from your carry-on luggage and place them in a separate bin.


Sport coats, suit jackets, blazers or any other type of overcoat need to be removedand placed in the bin provided. Be prepared and remove them before the screening officer asks you to do so. If you are traveling to the United States, be aware that you are required to take off your shoes and have them screened by placing them in the bins along with your carry-on luggage.

Before going through the walkthrough metal detector, make sure you have emptied all the contents from your pockets and placed them in the bins provided. This oversight is one of the many factors that can cause delays at pre board screening checkpoints.

Avoid wearing shoes, belts or pants with metal accessories, as they might trigger the metal detector, sometimes resulting in additional screening by a screening officer, hence delaying passenger flow. It’s not uncommon for both men and women’s shoes to have metal rods built in for support. Thus, they will trigger the alarm. Unless, you are wearing a pliable soft shoe, you should remove them.

As GardaWorld Aviation Services’ Regional Director of Operations-Central Region, I witness thousands of passengers going through airport security screening every year and have compiled a few tips of my own, listed below:

Check as much baggage as you can.  Any vessel containing more than 100ml of liquid or gel will have to be surrendered to screening personnel.  Be sure to check it, as you don’t want to lose your new, expensive perfume or cream!

Prepare while you are in line—or even before you get there. Clear plastic bags for your liquids and gels are available at the start of the line. Place your liquids in the bag and have it easily accessible for screening. Properly placing all liquids in the clear plastic bags will make the screening process easier and quicker.

Don’t be afraid to ask the screening officer questions. If you have a medical condition or are carrying something that may be considered a prohibited item (liquid medication in +100 ml container, sleep apnea machine, diabetic equipment, medicinal marijuana etc.), advise the screening officer in advance to ensure proper handling.

Give yourself plenty of time. The screening process doesn’t take a lot of time but when we are stressed we sometimes forget or neglect to do things that would facilitate the process. We then end up involuntarily setting off alarms or having to go through the process for secondary screening. The process tends to go much more smoothly when we are relaxed and not in such a hurry. Take note of the peak hours (very busy times) which are generally early morning (06:00-08:00), midday (11:30-13:00), and evening (16:30-18:00). Saturday and Sunday mornings can be very busy due to holiday travelers.

For regular travelers, these tips often appear as common knowledge. Nevertheless, many travelers – including business travelers – do not pay enough attention to these details which, if taken seriously, could tremendously help speed up the screening process.

For more tips on how to speed up pre boarding security screening such as ‘’how to pack’’ and ‘’what to wear’’, please visit our client CATSA’s website at