I’ve spent the last 3 years of my life travelling back and forth among several Asian countries for the sake of my job. The work gets so crazy that I sometimes found myself at international airports twice every week in a month (it is not just tiring, it is insanely exhausting). The good thing is I learned numerous airport hacks and tips (some of them, I learned the hard way T_T).
Of all the things that I have learned, there is a golden tip to pass through airport security quickly. Indeed, there are a lot of tips that you can find on the Internet (you can check Sonia’s hacks in this link, she is a beautifully badass woman and I can’t agree more with the things she says in this video). I will tell you Sonia’s tips work in every airport. Yet she is talking about the security process itself.
My golden tip is not about the security process, it is about the customs officer you have to deal with. Yes, how the customs officer works will decide the speed of the line you are queuing in! Especially in countries where these officers don’t work really seriously.
I remember one time when my co-worker and I walked to the security area at the same time. She immediately chose a short line with 5 persons in front of her while I contemplated for a while and chose another with around 15 ones. Guess what? I finished way earlier than her! Why? Because I took time to look at the customs officers’ working speed. The one in her line did not really work, he was laughing and talking with his colleague all the time and totally forgot the passport he got in his hand as well as the passenger in front of him. Meanwhile, the one in my line checked and stamped each passport with lightning speed (I’m not sure if he really looks at the passport or not but this is a good thing for me haha). So here he was – the customs officer of the day.
In short, choose the right line to queue up. Choose relatively short lines; take sometimes to observe the customs officers working in each of those line and go for the quickest one. He (or she) will do a quick job and usually does not ask strange questions that make you roll your eyes. You’ll get through fast and you will not have to feel uncomfortable.
Believe me, this is the golden rule that saves me from the pain of airport security all the time.