The Mistake You’re Making With Your Jewelry in the TSA Line

And it’s wasting your time—guaranteed.

JewelryMarben /Shutterstock Few things are worse than getting stuck in a long TSA security line when you’re late for your flight. We’ve been there! (And if you have these four letters on your boarding pass, you should get settled in for a longer wait.) Surely you can speed up the process by removing your jewelry before you walk through the metal detector—thereby avoiding an awkward pat down—right?

Wrong! Turns out, taking your jewelry off when you go through the TSA checkpoint is a waste of time, according to a TSA blog post. Not only is doing so unnecessary, but any delicate necklaces, rings, or earrings can easily be lost or forgotten at the bottom of those big, plastic bins.

Don’t just take our word for it, though. As TSA press secretary Lisa Farbstein told Who What Wear, “Most jewelry does not need to be removed, such as rings, necklaces, or wristwatches, unless they are what could be defined as being oversize.”

Granted, there are exceptions to this rule. Bulky or metallic jewelry, such as oversized necklaces or watches, will probably be picked up by the metal detector. But when you do take it off, try to find a safe spot for it in your carry-on bag “to reduce the likelihood that it will be left in the bin accidentally or that it will fall out of the bin,” Farbstein said.

The bottom line: Unless your jewelry is particularly bulky, save your time (and your sanity!) by keeping it on as you go through security. Make sure you’re not making these mistakes before your next flight, too.

[Source: Who What Wear]

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Brooke Nelson
Brooke Nelson is a researcher at PBS FRONTLINE in Boston, Massachusetts, and writes regularly about travel, health, and culture news for Reader’s Digest. Previously she was a staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her articles have also appeared on MSN, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance, among other sites. She earned a BA in international relations from Hendrix College. Follow her on Twitter @BrookeTNelson.