Going through security at the airport

This seems to be a source of some confusion for some people, but luckily I am here to clear it all up, based on my extensive experience with going through idiot security procedures. Please follow the below instructions, so that you don't hold up the rest of us who have looked this stuff up before we get to the security scanner.

1. Don't leave a bottle of water in your bag. Don't, if you have done so, try to argue that you should be allowed to take it through, even if it's sealed. I know it's a stupid rule, but it's a very clear one, and you won't win. You're just slowing down the process and pissing everyone off.

2. Put your make-up (all of it, especially liquid foundation) into a small, clear plastic bag. Make sure it all fits into the small bag and that you can close the small bag around the make-up. If it doesn't, take less. How much make-up do people need? Similarly with hand cream, face cream, whatever the hell that all is...

3. Don't wear high-heels. Not only are they dangerous if you need to get out of the airplane if something goes wrong (and I will consider killing you myself if your heels break the inflatable life raft thingy, should we crash into the sea) but you need to take them off and have them x-rayed. This is also true of boots in general, even flat boots (but with less emergency escape danger) - trainers are good. Try trainers.

4. Don't wear a belt. This may mean wearing different trousers, but you'll have to take your belt off anyway and have it x-rayed, and it'll be quicker to just wear other trousers. If you do wear a belt, please don't wait until you're about to go through the scanner before you think about sloooooowly taking it off and carefully coiling it in the little plastic tray. Especially if you also have to then take off your heels and carefully put on the plastic bag shoe replacement things.

5. Take your coat, scarf, gloves, etc off before you get to the xray machine. Empty your pockets while you're waiting, not after the scanner beeps at you. Yes, it will notice your keys and coins. Really.

6. In general, don't argue with the security people. They have clearly got strict instructions and not a lot of scope for initiative. They presumably know the rules are idiotic, but they still have to enforce them anyway. These are not the people to complain to - try the companies running the airport or, better yet, the Ministry of the Interior or your local equivalent. I also recommend starting a blog to bitch about the trauma of the whole thing. It's remarkably cathartic. (cf 80% of my recent posts...)

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