Keep in mind the following advice to make your trip through the airport as fast and comfortable as possible.
Remove and separate oversized electronics (laptops, full-size video game consoles, DVD players, and video cameras that use cassettes) from your carry-on for proper screening. You will need to remove large electronics from your carry-on bag at the checkpoint for separate X-ray screening. Read about checkpoint friendly laptop bag procedures. Unless you receive specific instructions, small electronics, such as smartphones, tablets and certain other mobile/portable electronic devices, can stay in your carry-on bag.
Prepare a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag of liquids before arriving at the airport. Read about the 3-1-1 rule for carry-on baggage.
Pack all coats and jackets in checked baggage when possible. All coats and jackets must go through the X-ray machine.
Do not wrap gifts. If security officers need to inspect a package, they may have to unwrap it. Don’t wrap gifts until you reach your final destination.
Film. Pack undeveloped film in your carry-on bag. If you have film that is faster than 800-speed, tell a TSA officer who will manually inspect the film instead of placing it through the X-ray.
When in doubt, leave it out. Unsure if you can bring an item through the checkpoint? Put it in your checked baggage or leave it at home. Read about prohibited items.
Dress the Part
If you set off an alarm during screening, the TSA officers have to find out why. They will conduct additional screening to make sure that the object that set off the alarm is not a threat.
Advanced Imaging Technology: Before you enter an AIT machine for screening, we strongly recommend that you remove ALL items from your pockets, as well as certain accessories. These include your wallet, belt, bulky jewelry, money, keys and cell phone. Removing these items will reduce the chance of additional screening after you exit the machine. Read about this technology.
Body piercings: Certain metal body piercings may cause the machines to alarm, which will result in additional screening. If this happens, you may be asked to remove your body piercing in private as an alternative to a pat-down search.
Head coverings: Travelers are allowed to wear head coverings and religious garments during the screening process. They may need additional screening if the headwear or clothing (religious or otherwise) is loose fitting or large enough to hide prohibited items.Learn more about security considerations for religious or cultural needs.
Shoes: Please remove your shoes before screening. Put them directly on the belt to go through the X-ray machine instead of in a bin with other items. It is safe, easy and gives officers a better look.
Tell a security officer if you are unable to remove your shoes because of a disability, medical condition or a prosthetic device. The security officer will give you additional screening that includes a visual and physical inspection.
Why do we screen shoes? Screening shoes by X-ray identifies anomalies, including explosives.
Have the Following Ready
You should present the following documents to a TSA officer at the checkpoint:
Hassle-Free Security Tips
TSA does not prohibit the public, passengers or press from photographing, videotaping or filming at security checkpoints, as long as it does not interfere with or slow down the screening process. We do ask you to not film or take pictures of the monitors. Also, while TSA does not prohibit photographs at screening locations, local laws, state statutes and local ordinances may do so.
Taking photographs may prompt airport police or a TSA official to ask what your purpose is. We recommend that you contact the TSA Contact Center to determine the policies of specific airports. Source tsa.gov
I have been in the travel industry for over 25 years, as a flight attendant, travel agent and travel writer. I think all travelers should have the kind of inside information that professional travelers have. The business has changed over the years and those on the front lines deserve a lot of credit. And what they know can help all of us get more out of our travel experience.