Tuesday, 25 August 2015

A positive experience with TSA security at Orlando International Airport

We had been advised to allow plenty of time for security checks at Orlando International Airport so decided to join the line two hours before departure.  

At first glance the security line looked huge and we wondered if we would ever get to the end of it.  After a couple of minutes an officer came up to us and asked if we would like to join a shorter line at another entrance.  We thanked him and joined the other line.  Our passports and boarding passes were checked and we joined the next line for the screening.  

Again this looked like a very long line and we wondered how long it would take to get through.  We were getting slightly anxious as a number of passengers were being very vocal in the line.  We patiently waited our turn and quickly moved to the screening area.  The actual screening took a matter of seconds and we were though the line.  The only small confusion being an officer asking me to take off my Sweater, which my wife had to remind me meant my jumper!  The officer was perfectly happy with my sons Epipen and small 75ml bottle of antihistamine. I decided to carry though my DSLR, lenses, iPad, iPhone as part of my hand luggage.  I simply left all of this in my bag which was scanned.  If you are bringing a laptop you will need to take it out of your bag.

I appreciate that a large proportion of the screening takes places long before you arrive at the airport via flight lists etc but we found the whole process very painless.

The whole experience could not have taken more than twenty minutes and at all times we were treated politely by all the officers.  I definitely got the impression that if you were calm and polite and followed instructions the process is simple and there is nothing to worry about.

Before we travelled we had read the documentation suggesting that all suitcase locks as TSA compliant.  We followed the instructions and made sure that our suitcase and bag straps were able to opened by TSA if needed.

When we arrived at Gatwick we saw a couple of cases which had been opened by TSA and had to have the locks forced.  

When we got home we found neatly placed inside our case a "notice of baggage inspection".  This was my son's bag so we wonder what might have triggered this inspection or if it was just a random sample.

Top Tips.

1. Read the TSA advice here before you travel

2. Be polite and wait patiently in the line

3. Delays were caused by people taking more than 100ml through their hand luggage - don't do it!

4. If you are going to lock your suitcase use a TSA approved lock