Clothing Tips To Get You Through Airport Security Faster

Mar 7, 2019, 6:34 PM | Updated: Feb 7, 2023, 11:18 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The spring break travel season is almost upon us and soon Utahns will crowd the airports to get to their vacation destinations.

The downside from that influx of traffic, of course, are the longer security screening lines.

No one wants to be that one person holding up everyone else, because we’re not prepared.

The good news is that choosing the right clothes to wear at the airport can help ease our way through security.

“Sometimes, I wish I could just wear brown paper (through security) and when it’s over, get dressed,” joked passenger Elizabeth Edmiston.

Thankfully, we’re not at that point. At least, not yet.

Here are steps we can take right now to help keep us and our fellow travelers on track through security.

First: ditch the belt.

Their metal clasps will set off the metal detector, so fliers have to remove them. If you have to wear one, take it off well before screening so you will not slow anyone down.

A better option may be a rubber or nylon belt like frequent traveler Scott Farqurah uses.

“I just kind of wear a golf belt so there’s no metal parts to it,” he said.

Next, keep your hat and sunglasses in your carry-on bag. Security officers are not big fans of any accessory that can obscure your identity, and will ask you to remove it.

“I try not to wear a sweatshirt if I can avoid it,” said flier Kelsey Dunlop, “because, that’s something else you’ll have to take off, too.”

While baggy and loose clothing certainly are not prohibited, wearing a bulky sweatshirt, hoodie, sweater, heavy jacket or even a maxi dress or skirt could win you a pat down by a TSA agent.

“That is more of an alert, I think, to the security agents that you may be hiding something within that clothing,” said Nancy Volmer, a spokeswoman for Salt Lake City International. “So it’s better just to think through that before you dress to come to the airport so you will not delay the line.”

Also, clothing with any sort of metallic buttons, detail or inlay can set off the alarm.

“So, most jewelry can go through security unless there is really heavy jewelry that may set off the detectors,” Volmer explained.

Keep the bling like huge, bulky metallic necklaces, bracelets and earrings in the carry-on.

“Also, there’s some body piercings that may do so (set off the detector). Just put those in your carry-on baggage before you go through screening or just put them in your checked luggage (as you pack),” said Volmer.

Make sure your shoes are easy to slip on and off. You will not make friends as you hold up the line trying to undo strappy sandals or knotted laces.

But, whatever shoe you wear, wear socks.

“It’s more of a hygienic thing,” Volmer elaborated. “Think of how many people are going through security on daily basis. It’s better to wear socks than to have bare feet.”

Airport floors are known for harboring some really scary germs that you probably do not want to take with you.

Another culprit are cargo pants. TSA agents say those many-pocketed pants often set off detectors because wearers forget something they’ve left in one of those pockets.

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Clothing Tips To Get You Through Airport Security Faster