Saturday, April 19, 2014

How to skip the lines at Passport Control!

On a recent trip to visit family abroad my husband and I decided to pack carry-on only. We scrutinized every item we would bring and calculated that we could do laundry once on the trip.  We each took one carry on sized suitcase and a small personal bag.  We managed to do this while also bringing dress clothes for a wedding.  With such a short trip, we wanted to save time by not waiting at the baggage claim carasouls. What we did not know, was that on the way back to Chicago O'hare, we would be able to bypass the main passport control hall all together!

As we were racing to get ahead of the crowds (we had a connecting flight with only 45 minutes to go), we passed a woman in the hall way just off the plane holding a sign that read "passengers with carry-on only".  I stopped and said, "We only have carry-ons!" And she ushered us right there to a TSA agent who checked our passports immediately and quickly.  We were then directed down a separate hallway that led to the arrival hall which bypassed the main passport control and baggage claim areas.  We arrived at our gate within 10 minutes of departing the plane, most of the time was spent getting across the airport instead of waiting in the long lines of passport control with the other passengers.

O'hare is calling this program, "1-Stop Clearance"

Well if this is not incentive to pack lighter then I don't know what is!! Making travel more simple equals a more enjoyable experience. So next time you are planning a trip check out the airports you will be arriving at and see if they have similar programs so you, too, can reap the benefits of traveling light!

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