Posted: January 10, 2014

Good advance preparation is the key to easier pre-flight TSA screening. Here are some tips to help you sail smoothly from one of our airport hotels through the airport checkpoints and on to your gate.

TSA Security and Traveling Tips
Airport Security Screening (photo by dan paluska)

1. Shoes

Wear slip-on shoes. You will be asked to remove your shoes for screening. Wear a pair that are easy to slip on and off.

2. Personal Items

Wear and carry as little metal as possible. You will need to remove belts with metal buckles, change from your pockets, keys, watches and large metal jewelry. Most credit and debit cards have swipe strips of iron-containing material which can trigger the metal detector. If you keep your passport in a specially shielded cover, it most likely contains metal. Remove your passport from its cover and gather all these metallic items into a bag before you head to the screening point. Wear pants that don’t require a belt. Women should consider wearing a non-underwire bra for the easiest travel.

3. Liquids

Prepare all liquids when packing your hand luggage. You are allowed to carry on liquids and gels in containers that are 3 ounces or smaller. All these containers must be sealed in a clear quart-sized plastic bag. Make sure you can remove this bag easily from your carry-on. It will need to be taken out and put into a bin for the agents to inspect. Prescription medications and baby food are exempt from the 3-ounce container rule, but do be sure to leave these items in their original packaging.

4. Coat

You will be asked to remove your coat.

5. Electronics

Larger electronics such as laptop computers and CPAP machines have to be removed from their cases and placed separately into bins for screening. If the case has straps for securing the equipment, wait until you are through security to tighten them down. Don’t pack additional loose items on top of the equipment that has to come out of the case. Once your electronic item is in the bin, don’t place anything on top of it.

6. Boarding Pass

Keep your boarding pass and identification out and available for the screeners at the checkpoint.

7. Prohibited Items

Don’t pack any prohibited items in your carry-on luggage or carry any with you through the checkpoint. Lists of prohibited items are available on airport, airline and government websites, and include things like knives and flammable substances.

8. Backscatter Screening

The new backscatter screening machines require you to completely empty your pockets, even of paper items.

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