TSA is synonymous these days with fear, security, bullying, discontent, exhaustion and my favorite inefficiency.
Over the last few years, I have made it a priority to learn how to maneuver effectively through the TSA security check points. I travel often and my least favorite process to deal with, besides boarding the airplane, is the security check. It isn’t because it takes at least 30 minutes, on a normal travel day, to get though the check point. It isn’t because most TSA workers pretend to be hard-asses, where as most of them are humorous, kind people when not in uniform. It isn’t because they continue to waste tons of money on devices that pump radiation through out the screenings. IT IS because there is nothing efficient and effective about these check points and I am all about efficiency. This is what the O.C.D. Experience strives for in our organizational process.
The security lines in airports can be very amusing before approaching the TSA team. I like to call it the Fashion Runway, no pun intended, for the likes of the ignorant.
How often do you think about the clothing you wear to the airport? Do you consider how long it will take you to remove EVERYTHING that the TSA mandates before entering the screening checkpoint? Do you think about how your belongings and the process of dealing with “it” will impact the people behind you?
Most likely, no. When I asked 50 people the question, Do you think about the outfit you wear to the airport? 43 out of 50 people said, “Yes, I always want to look good (or some version of the word good) when traveling!” Not many of the flyers considered the functionality of their outfit.
Most people do not wear airport appropriate clothing when traveling.
Airport appropriate clothing would be footwear that slip on and off easily, clothing with little to no metal and minimal accessories and jewelry. The airport has turned into more of a fashion show than a gateway to our destination. Think about how much time you would save yourself and others if your outfit was O.C.D. approved.
Speaking of O.C.D. approved items, did you know that the TSA has a list of approved bags for security checkpoints? In fact, there is a variety of organizationally friendly travel bags that will maximize your time and move you through the security lines faster. My personal favorite brand is High Sierra. When you are shopping for your next suitcase discuss with your overly friendly luggage representative at Macy’s the bags that are overhead friendly and bags with useful organizational compartments. I personally look for a bag that has an accessible zipper pouch on the top. This pouch becomes useful the moment you hit the security line, right before you hand your boarding pass and ID to the TSA representative. Take off all of your accessories and valuables and stick them in this pouch and zip it up.
You can even put your wallet and phone in here once you pass through the ID check to prevent you from leaving your most prized possession at the screening.
At the ID check point you always have to show your boarding pass. How many people know that there is an approved list of airports that accept digital boarding passes? Do you also know how ill prepared the TSA agents are for the digital boarding passes they receive?
Technology is supposed to be speeding up our society, but not the TSA.
Every time I fly out of LAX and leave on Virgin America, I am prepared with my digital boarding pass and my physical boarding pass. Over prepared, yes, but necessary. The last 6 times I went to the airport, at an approved paperless boarding pass gate, the TSA representative has no idea how to use the scanning machine to verify my access. In fact, it usually takes them so long to figure it out, I whip out my physical boarding pass so I do not hold the line up.
I suggest that anyone who travels through these approved paperless boarding pass gates to do the same. Let’s start training the TSA to become a tad more effective in their process which will in turn save us time.
I get to the airport with enough time to sit down for 25 minutes at my gate. This gives me peace of mind, allows me to relax a bit and tie up lose ends in my work and personal life. It also grants me the time to opt-out of the scanner process leaving me in the hands of a security pat down. I do this for many reasons…the first is I travel so much that I don’t need a radiation burst every time I am at the airport.
“According to the Army presentation, the average dose to the body was 3.8 microrems per screening, meaning that a person would have to go through the machine more than 5,000 times to exceed the annual dose limit recommended by the American National Standards Institute. By comparison, a chest X-ray produces about 10,000 microrems of radiation. The test also provides new information about the dose to the skin and eyes, which has been a concern because low energy X-rays deliver a large portion of the radiation to shallow tissues. The Army testers measured the average dose to the lens of the eye at 6.7 microrems and the average skin dose at 11.3 microrems, both of which were extremely low compared to the accepted guidelines.
The study, however, does not make a conclusion about whether the machines are safe. Some scientists have estimated that the routine use of the machines planned by the TSA could result in anywhere from a handful to a hundred additional cases of cancer over a lifetime.”
The second reason is because I hate being rushed and I hate dealing with people who aren’t prepared. It sets my OCD and anxiety to red alert. I politely ask to opt-out of the screening solving my radiation poisoning concern and the ill prepared travelers ahead of me from ruining my mood.
I think of the opting-out process as airport VIP treatment. I have the process down so well that the TSA agents get a little irritated by me.
Some advice…if you aren’t flying private this is the next best thing to flying private. Someone takes your bags for you, brings you to a private screening area, asks you a few questions, touches you in areas that may or may not turn you on, and then zips your bags up for you so you can be on your way. Trust me…if you haven’t opted out before and you are organized, have 5 extra minutes because you were smart enough to arrive at the airport early and aren’t traveling with any weapons, this is the way to go.
Remember Organize & Create Discipline is not just about organizational discipline, it is about creating effective systems to help you battle the everyday turbulence of life. We would never compromise your safety and most importantly we look out for the opportunity to save you time and energy. Coming up with a strategic plan for yourself to battle the chaos and disorganization at the airport is vital for traveling. We are always here to help you come up with solutions, so feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and as always we appreciate you sharing this with other to eductae and spread the O.C.D. Experience lifestyle.
Justin OCD Klosky