When you walk through the airport you see and hear many angry and angry people in the screening area. It really doesn’t have to be that difficult if you plan ahead and pack your bags appropriately. The person who is angry is the one who came unprepared and packed prohibited items in their luggage.
Liquids and gels seem to be the latest cause of grumbling at the screening checkpoint. Current regulations allow passengers to carry bottles of 3 ounces or less of liquids and gels. Bottles should be placed in a 1 liter clear plastic zip bag. One plastic bag per person is allowed, which limits the total you can carry. When you arrive at the x-ray, place the zip bag in the security tray for the check-up, this will speed up the process. If you leave liquids in your bag, your bag will be flagged and searched.
There are a few exceptions to the liquids and gels rule. Baby items such as food, formula, juice and breastmilk are allowed in larger quantities. They will allow “reasonable quantities”, no actual quantity given, just pack what you think you will need for the flight. Medicines are also authorized and are subject to the “reasonable quantities” rule. Be sure to declare these items during screening to make the process quick and painless.
Keeping other prohibited items out of your carry-on will also make the screening process much more enjoyable. Sharp objects such as knives, ice picks, razor blades, swords and sabers are not permitted as carry-on baggage. These items are permitted in checked baggage, but must be appropriately wrapped or sheathed to avoid injury to baggage handlers and inspectors. Sporting goods such as baseball bats, cricket bats, golf clubs, hockey sticks and more are not permitted as carry-on baggage. No firearms may be carried as well as self-defense items, but they may be in checked baggage. Tools over 7 inches in length are also prohibited. Flammable materials and explosives are not permitted in carry-on or checked baggage, with the exception of certain lighters which may be carried if they comply with applicable regulations. Check the TSA website for an up-to-date list of prohibited items before traveling.
Knowing what to expect during the selection process will make the process smoother. Pack your bags neatly and organized to allow the controller to see what’s inside if a baggage check is called. Bring your ID and boarding pass as you approach the checkpoint. Coats and shoes must be removed and placed in a security bin for inspection. Oversized electronic items should also be placed in a separate bin for checking. Don’t wear bulky clothes or baggies at the airport, and remember to remove all loose metal from your clothes and pockets. If you are selected for an in-depth review, be patient and courteous, it will speed up the process.
Remember that the most important thing is to be prepared and enjoy your trip. Be sure to check the TSA website for the latest information on prohibited items and safety information.