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How to avoid holiday airport frustrations

November 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Controversial new airport security measures threaten to make holiday travel even more time consuming than usual.It's the perfect recipe for long lines and travel frustration - a busy holiday crunch mixed with new, more stringent security measures.

"It is a pain - especially if you're running late. It's hard to get people in and out," said Madison Virgil, who was flying out of Los Angeles International Airport Tuesday.

But there are ways to get through security with speed and ease.

"Take off your outerwear, your coat and your shoes. You have to put that through the X-ray machine," suggested Juan Parra with the discount travel website Travelocity.com.

During the holiday season he's roaming LAX, doling out travel advice to fliers. "You want to wear to shoes that are easy to take off - so anything that is probably laceless."

The TSA says not to wear heavy jewelry like necklaces, rings or body piercings and to avoid clothing with metal buttons or studs, as well as belt buckles or underwire bras.

But flier Alejandro Madrid said he didn't put much thought into what he wore. "I just wear whatever. I figure if I have to take it off, I'll take it off."

While most of the attention recently has been devoted to the controversy around the full body scanners and the enhanced pat-downs, the TSA says the vast majority of fliers will not be subjected to enhanced pat-downs. But your chance of being selected for pat-down could increase depending on what you wear or bring with you through the checkpoint.

"You might get a weird look if you bring a turkey through security," said Parra. "But as long as it fits in your carry-on you can take it."

However, be advised - cranberry sauce is considered a liquid and is not allowed.


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