15 Ways to Make Your Wait at Airport Security Less Miserable

Jan 23, 2019

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So, you made it to the airport just in time for the government to shut down and airport security lines to grind to a halt. Lucky you!

Fear not, hopeless wanderer. Since we don’t want you to completely lose your mind — or waste your time — we’ve rounded up 17 of the best activities you can do while standing in what may seem to be a never-ending security line caused by a seemingly never-ending government shutdown.

1. Apply for CLEAR, PreCheck and Global Entry

Because over your dead body are you waiting in a line like this again. Pro tip: Get a credit card that pays for it. You’re welcome.


2. Marie Kondo Your Inbox

If you’ve been dreaming of Inbox Zero but can never find the time, well, now you have time! Lots of it. Does this work email spark joy? Nope? Bye!!

3. Play a Game

How about a round of “Would You Rather?” For example, would you rather spend the rest of this day on a security line or never be able to travel again? Would you rather get stranded in Newfoundland or Siberia? Decisions, decisions.

4. Get Some Perspective

Remind yourself that, although you are stranded in a TSA security line, at least you’re not, you know … stranded in Siberia.

5. Start the Wave

You have a big, probably restless group of people. Get everyone in the spirit with the wave, or form a giant conga line.

6. Strike up a Conversation

Misery loves company. Chat with the people in front of and behind you. Ask them about their hopes, dreams and their preferred credit card. If they say the words, “debit card” you know what to do, disciples.

7. Go Through Old Facebook Messages

You thought wasting away in an airport security line was bad? Try reading through old Facebook messages from your ex. We finally found something more uncomfortable than sitting in economy for 18 hours!

8. Quiz Yourself on Planes

What aircraft can cram in 10 economy passengers in a row? What models are double-deckers? Depending on the airport and how long the line is, you might even be able to spot actual planes in the wild while you wait. What fun!

9. Listen to a Podcast

Well, not any podcast. Our “Talking Points” and “Miles Away” podcasts.

10. Start Writing a Book

Or finish a book! You’ll never have more inspiration for characters than the airport security line.

11. Answer Questions That Haunt You

What does your favorite credit card say about you? When should you use cash instead of miles for a flight? Why are people paying money to sit in a box the size of a bathroom stall at LaGuardia? What a world we live in.

12. Sign up for Our Newsletter

Could there a better way to start your day than with the latest from your favorite website? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Plus, it’s new and improved!

13. Make a Bet With Your Travel Companion

Who in this line is going to opt for a pat down rather than go through the scanners? What fool is going to forget about the grenade-shaped item they left in their carry-on and cause an airport shutdown? Winner gets both armrests.

14. Follow Us on Instagram

What did you expect? I do manage our social media.

15. Spread the Word

Tell everyone within earshot about this website called The Points Guy and brag about how you’re on your way to Nirvana (a fancy airport lounge and free lie-flat seat paid for with points and miles). Assuming you ever get through airport security, of course.

Featured image courtesy Getty Images.

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