Get your next trip off the ground even before take-off by minimizing the stress of long security wait times (not to mention missing your flight!) with these helpful tips.

#1 – Pick your times

Friday afternoons and early evenings are generally notorious for long wait times, with business travelers returning home while vacationers are jetting off for the weekend. Very early morning flights can be onerous, but are also usually a good time to slip through quickly. As a bonus, you’ll be first in line for a secondary flight if there are any delays.

#2 – Check your baggage

Most airlines charge non-elite members a baggage fee, but dropping your bag off can shave precious minutes waiting for TSA to inspect your luggage–and you don’t have to worry about limits on liquids.

#3 – Pay for speed

Security screening programs like TSA’s PreCheck or CLEAR practically guarantee a smooth segue from security to the Starbucks that’s nearest to your departure gate. With PreCheck, you’re also subject to lighter security measures … keep your shoes and jacket on!

#4 – Use an app

Flight-monitoring apps like SeatGuru or MiFlite will keep you on top of flight delays, security wait times, and gate changes, all in real-time.

#5 – Give yourself extra time

Stressing in security and dashing through concourses, or savoring a Bloody Mary while people-watching? It’s up to you, but allowing plenty of extra time gives you a margin for unexpected delays and gets your next trip off to a relaxing start.

#6 – Get airline status

Airlines want your loyalty, so sticking to one carrier and accruing an elite status level will get you perks like free checked luggage, lounge access, AND expedited security. Happy flying!

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