No one has much praise for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and its sometimes brash, sometimes professional, sometimes even polite personnel at airport security check-in lines.

No one looks forward to removing their shoes and belt and organizing the plastic trays for laptops and various other items and waiting in line to go through the security process.

But now comes word as peak #Travel season approaches that the lines could get longer. The reason: In addition more fliers, the 2012 program called PreCheck hasn’t done as well as expected. The idea was that passengers who paid a fee and underwent an interview at the airport could then go through a special line while keeping their shoes, belt and jackets on.

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The TSA anticipated enrollment of 25 million nationally, but only slightly more than one-third that total has signed-up. The fee is about $100 for five years of PreCheck usage. The TSA also reports many more passengers are now flying only with carry-on baggage, and it has also delayed lines at security checks.

But there’s also more to the increasing problem. While the TSA often gets blamed for poor performance and less-than-cordial interactions with the public, it’s not always at fault. As a business traveler about six times per year, I’ve witnessed many occasions when fliers didn’t pay attention or weren’t prepared for the security line or were inconsiderate of other fliers or angry with TSA personnel.

A few easy steps can help travelers help themselves and help airport security lines work more efficiently.

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Before approaching a security line, be organized. If you’re traveling with a carry-on bag, carry a small zippy bag. Place your jewelry, change, notes, etc. in the zippy bag in a zippered compartment of your suitcase. Place your personal grooming in a transparent bag at the top of the inside of the suitcase. Remove your belt before you get in line and also secure in it your suitcase. If possible, never use the provided small trays. Have your laptop out of its case before your the next person to go through the security station. Wear slip-on shoes, if possible.

The brief preparation for each individual adds up to substantial time saved for traveling masses.

And, of course, TSA personnel isn’t always professional. I don’t expect them to be my friend, but I think it’s fair to expect the TSA staff to be courteous. I think TSA personnel should understand some travelers are flying for the first time. I think they should understand some travelers in the back of the line can’t hear the instructions if they’re given at the front of the line.

It’s not a perfect system and it likely will never be ideal. But it can be better if travelers prepare better. The TSA should also understand its role better. It should treat the public like its employees would wish to be treated when they travel. #Buzz