Wearing High Heels to the Airport: 5 Common Myths
Back in the days when commercial flights were first becoming mainstream, the Pan Am girls weren’t the only ones looking fly to fly. Traveling via airplane was a rare, expensive and extremely special occasion and, thus, passengers dressed to impress in suits, hats, dresses, coats, and, of course, heels.
Though most of us have traded skirt suits for jeans and fancy hats for ponytail hair ties, there’s one point of debate among female (and fabulous male travelers): footwear. While some fliers swear by their Uggs or flip flops, others are holding strong in favor of high heels.
But is this leftover element of classic dress code a way to better enjoy your day of traveling, or something that could potentially ruin the entire experience? (Cue image of us sprinting down an airport corridor, tripping on our heels and falling flat on our face...)
To get to the sole of this issue, we’re breaking down five common myths about wearing high heels to the airport.
1) They are considered a weapon by security (FALSE)
Unless your heels are covered in prominent studs or fake guns, it’s unlikely that TSA will consider your choice of footwear a weapon. As with all other footwear choices, they will need to be removed and scanned during security checks, but shouldn’t garner more attention than, say, boots or sneakers. The TSA agents aren’t out to ruin our outfits, so this one is a FALSE myth — probably spread by heel haters.
2) They can help you reach the overhead bins (TRUE)
Short girls know the struggle is real when trying to stuff carry-on baggage into the overhead bin. Thankfully, Sarah from Girl on a Mountaintop has noted one of the side benefits of traveling in heels: they help you reach the overhead bins. That extra few inches could be the difference between having to ask that tall guy next to you for help, or just doing it yourself. This myth is as true blue as JetBlue.
3) Only high-maintenance girls wear heels at the airport (FALSE)
No, it’s not only the high-maintenance types that you’ll spot wearing heels to the airport — there are a ton of different reasons that heels may suit a traveler best. Whether you’re going right to a meeting upon landing, traveling with a group of colleagues, or just trying to shake off jetlag by dressing up, there’s nothing high-maintenance about wanting to look — and feel — good.
4) You can’t wear heels through TSA Pre-Check (TRUE)
While all passengers must remove their shoes for regular security, heels do present a bit of a problem for those with TSA Pre-Check. While the shorter security line is probably the best perk of this program, the whole not-having-to-take-off-your-shoes part is a pretty close second.
Understandably, especially to anyone that’s ever felt the horror that is your bare feet on that tile floor. But passengers in heels can’t chill out and cruise through quite yet, since heels are generally still required to be taken off when going through TSA Pre-Check, as told by Keri from Heels First Travel. Since most heels have a metal construction base, they’re pretty much guaranteed to set the alarm off — unless you can find a pair without the metal inside.
5) They can make you late for your flight (TRUE)
Anyone who has ever been forced to run in heels knows that it is pretty much the worst thing ever. Heels make you measurably slower and much more likely to fall, so they’re not the best choice for those running late. Trying to rush is also more likely to give you blisters … and make you never want to wear heels again.
So if you’re going to choose this footwear for your travels, give yourself a little extra cushion of time to ensure you can leisurely — and fiercely — stroll those concourses.
This blog originally appeared on Vane's website.
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