photos of tsa long lines

Remember: Even if an item is permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane.

Between Check-In and Security

  • Stow everything except your ID and boarding pass in your carry-on baggage. This way, when you get to the front of the security line, you will not be finding items in pockets, messing with your phone, or dropping credit cards and keys.  List of acceptable IDs.
    Tip: Remove all items from pockets – including metallic and non-metallic items (keys, wallets, and jewelry) and place in a plastic, zip-top bag for faster screening.

Have your laptop, full-size video game console, DVD player or video camera ready to be put in a bin or on the conveyer. Tip: Put electronics or any items that need to be screened separately in a TSA approved bag or collapsible bag. Once you are through security and at your gate put the items in your carry-on and use the collapsible bag for laundry or shopping while you are traveling. Tip #2: Label your laptop with a business card or other identification on the bottom of your laptop to avoid loss or the accidental "exchange" by travelers.

Know the 3-1-1 rule and have your zip-top bag ready to be put in the bin

  • 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume) for any liquid
  • One quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag per traveler
  • One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring

Declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint. Officers may need to open these items to conduct additional screening.

Tip: Pack an empty water bottle and fill it once you are on the ticketed side.

What to wear

Footwear: All footwear must be removed and put directly on the belt to go through the x-ray machine, so wear easy to remove footwear for faster screening.

Tip: Slip on or disposable shoes are permitted.

Coats and Jackets:  Pack all coats and jackets in baggage when possible. All coats and jackets must go through the X-ray machine for inspection. Passengers who choose to wear an outer coat or jacket to the checkpoint will need to either place it in carry-on baggage or put it in the bin.

Head Coverings: Travelers are permitted to wear head coverings and religious garments during the screening process. They may be directed to additional screening if the headwear or clothing (religious or otherwise) is loose fitting or large enough to hide prohibited items.

What not to wear:

  • Metal: keys, loose change, jewelry, cuff links, metal hair barrettes, metal belt buckles, mobile phones, pagers, and personal data assistants (PDAs) have to be screened separately
     
  • Under-wire bras: Gel-filled bras are permitted through security screening and aboard aircraft.
  • Body piercings: May result in additional screening, including a pat-down. If selected for additional screening, passengers may ask to remove their body piercing in private.
     
  • Bulky sweater/Sweatshirt or a long skirt: Extra screening may be required
  • Don’t wear high heels: Heels can be restrictive and don't facilitate running to catch your plane or a quick exit in case of emergency. Tip: consider slip-on or disposable shoes.
  • Don’t wear perfume or cologne: Odors are intensified on a plane, where passengers are cramped in close quarters and air is recycled throughout the cabin. Some people are allergic to perfume or cologne, so be considerate. Tip: Reserve a clean outfit for the plane ride home and don’t wear any perfume or cologne.
  • Don’t wear offensive clothing: Airlines have a contract of carriage and some include the right to refuse to transport, or remove from the aircraft at any point, any passenger whose clothing is lewd, obscene, or patently offensive.
  • Warm-weather clothing: Temperature can fluctuate dramatically during travel, ask anybody who has been stuck on the tarmac. Tip: Socks and an ear warmer headband help keep you warm if the plane is too cold and are easy to fit into carry-on luggage.

Think before you speak.

Belligerent behavior, inappropriate jokes and threats will not be tolerated. They will result in delays and possibly missing flight departures. Local law enforcement may be called as necessary.

Pets: Please remove all animals from their carrying cases and send the case through the X-ray machine. Hold your pet in your arms and proceed through the metal detector. More information on traveling with pets.

Children: Please take infants and children out of baby carriers and strollers and take them through the metal detector. Strollers and baby carriers go through the X-ray machine with your bags. If possible, collapse the stroller before arriving at the metal detector. For more information on traveling with children.

Advanced Imaging Technology

Advanced imaging technology safely screens passengers for metallic and nonmetallic threats including weapons, explosives and other objects concealed under layers of clothing without physical contact to help TSA keep the traveling public safe.