At airport screenings, whisk out any low-down piercings to avoid showtime, says Megan Singleton.

The sad fact is we jetsetters must file through screening and x-ray like ewes being scanned for twins, thanks to the few idiots who have gone before us and the rest who are likely to follow.

Here are five ways to speed up the tedious process.

1. Bag it

Put all your lipsticks, lotions, gels and anything remotely liquid in 50ml or smaller containers then into a clear plastic zip-lock bag. I have noticed some airports letting me pass through without the baggy, but Fiji will make you go out and buy a bag for $1. A pain when you have no currency in transit.


2. Dress the part

Coats, shoes, belts and scarves must come off and pockets must be empty at all US airports so I wear belt-less leggings when flying and try to remember to remove bangles and other bulky jewellery before I go through. Interestingly the folds of fabric on my cardy showed up last time, but I was wanded down and sent on my way.

3. Body piercings

Your sneaky tummy button ring (or worse) will probably make the machine beep so be prepared to explain what you have pierced and subjected to a pat down or taken into a private area to show it to the officer. Personally I'd whip it out rather than do the reveal, but that's up to you!

4. Laptops

All laptops must be placed in their own personal plastic tray. If you're like me, you'll need about four of them lined up in a row: shoes and scarf, handbag with plastic bag separately, laptop and a fourth one for extraneous items. Plus my cabin bag packed with chargers, slippers, clean undies and a book.

5. Manners

Sometimes you'll come across customs agents who really love their job. They sing about what items must be removed or wisecrack about hair toupees coming off. Mostly though they don't seem to love their job and the worse thing you can do is become belligerent. And don't, under any joking circumstance, talk about explosives. It's never funny and you'll not make your flight.


Click here for Megan's tips on what to wear on a longhaul flight.