One of the most tiring things about air travel is the seemingly endless line after line you have to stand in and navigate before actually being able to board the plane. Sometimes you have to stand in serpentine lines for hours on end. This can get especially exhausting if you’ve just arrived from a vacation and are already physically spent. So the question is, how can one bypass airport security lines?


No one wants to spend hours in a line that never seems to shrink. It’s one of the downsides of air travel. But there are certain things you can do to bypass airport security lines faster. These are not even difficult things to do. In fact, once you try any of these, you’ll move through airport security faster than ever before. So here are some of the must-do tips and top ways to avoid the worst lines at the airport.

1. Apply for Global Entry

Never heard of it? Operated by the US Customs and Border Protection, Global Entry is a security clearance program. Approved travelers are granted expedited entry into the United States after an international trip. Once you have Global Entry membership, you will also have access to TSA Precheck program. This is highly beneficial as TSA Precheck offers streamlined security checks/screenings for domestic and international travelers. It allows you to bypass airport security lines without having to take off your shoes, jackets or anything else. You won’t be required to bring out the liquids you’re carrying or even your laptop. Application fee for Global Entry is about $100 and the membership is for a good five years. This includes access to TSA Precheck.

2. Try joining CLEAR

Apart from TSA Precheck, there is a company called CLEAR that can help you bypass airport security lines much faster. Using eye scans and fingerprint sensors, CLEAR members can verify their identity before they even reach TSA security screeners. Once they are verified, CLEAR members have the privilege to skip to the front of the line. Another advantage is that CLEAR members will still be able to access expedited TSA security screening despite belonging to both programs. While it is currently available at a handful of US airports, CLEAR is expanding rapidly by forming partnerships with major airlines. CLEAR membership will cost you about $179 per year per head and an additional $50 for each family member who is 18 years old and above.

3. Arrive as prepared as possible

The best way to bypass airport security lines and avoid the ticket counter lines is to come as prepared as possible. Get your boarding pass printed at home or have it sent to you electronically. This way, in case you aren’t checking luggage, you can head straight for the security line. However, if you do need to check a bag or two, it is still a good idea to check-in way ahead of time. Make use of the convenient “bag drop” line if the carrier you are traveling on is operating one. This immensely helpful line exists purely to tag luggage.

4. Upgrade to First Class

This is made possible owing to one of the latest trend in the airline industry. These days, airlines are offering highly discounted First Class upgrades at check-ins instead of reserving them for frequent flyers. An upgrade could typically cost you less than $100 if it’s short flights. But remember that this will include boarding privileges and priority check-in which can easily expedite your bypass through airport security lines. One way you can maximize your chances of availing such upgrades is by checking-in as early as possible online. This is typically about 24 hours before departure time.

5. Use early boarding privileges

There are certain disadvantages to boarding late that do not help your cause of trying to bypass airport security lines faster. Not only do you have to wait endlessly in line, the chance of overhead bins being full will be more and you’ll have to then check your bag. However, many airlines offer some or the other early boarding privileges to different types of travelers. For instance, travelers who happen to be pregnant, injured, or disabled may be offered early boarding privileges. Sometimes, it is also offered to families that are traveling with small children. Even active duty service members in uniform are considered worthy to receive this benefit. If you happen to be among any of the above mentioned then you need to present yourself to the gate agents in advance to ensure if you’re eligible for these privileges.

So the next time you’re booking cheap flights for a trip, take time out beforehand to make some or all of the arrangements above to help you bypass airport security lines faster. 

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