June 19, 2024

When you think of the words Airport Security your anxiety goes up a bit.  I know mine does.  It can be one of the most frustrating aspects of traveling by air. Regulations change and the person at the post may be having a bad day. Remember, they deal with a lot of people who aren’t ready for security but try to push their way through. Let’s get you where you can Breeze Through Security!

 

There are many things you can do to breeze right through security.  You want to be their model traveler.  Let’s start by knowing the rules. Do your research. Know what you can and can’t pack.

What You Wear

What you wear will make a difference in your shuffle through the process.  More than likely you are going to be asked to remove your shoes. This may change in the future, but for now, it is still in place.  I recommend you wear comfortable but easy-to-slip-on and off shoes.  I would not recommend flip-flops or boots.  And just for overall comfort I do not recommend shorts or a dress. Unless you can put bike shorts under the dress.  

 

The rules are different for those over 75, but they have the right to apply the rules no matter your age.


You will be asked to remove jackets, cardigans, and other cover-ups. Maybe you leave those in the carry-on or your handbag until you get through security. It is a hassle to undress and dress. Don’t wear clothing with metal incorporated into the design.

 

Tip: Keep it Simple.

 

Put change and keys into your carry-on or empty your pockets into a plastic bin when you arrive at the checkpoint. If you have body piercings, either remove them before you go through security or prepare yourself for a pat down.

Plan Ahead

If you plan ahead and pack according to the rules of TSA you will save yourself a lot of trouble. It can speed up your transition to the other side (Secure Area) with fewer issues. Don’t even try to put anything past them. They will make your move through security a hassle. And they have the final say on whether you pass.

Packing Your Bag

In the U.S., you are allowed 1 carry-on bag and 1 personal item in the passenger compartment on most airlines. Discount airlines, such as Easy Jet, have stricter rules.  You will be allowed to bring on a shopping bag as well if you have purchased something from the airport. You don’t have to squeeze it into your bags.  

 

Not all gate support will check the size of your bag but when they do, they will not allow it on if it doesn’t adhere to their standards. Even if a flight prior to your current flight allowed they will push it to hold luggage and you don’t get to object.  Well, you can but you won’t win. Each airline has slightly different carry-on size requirements, so make sure to check with your airline for more information.

Liquids and Powders

Per TSA requirements, all liquid and gel items must be 100 milliliters (3.4 ounces) or smaller per item. Every liquid and gel product you carry into the passenger compartment must meet this requirement and fit into a single, 1-quart zip-closure clear plastic bag. If you can’t close the bag, then it won’t pass.

 

Put larger gel and liquid items in your carry-on if you really must have them. I recommend considering the wonderful stuff you can buy while at your destination. It’s fun to shop for a few things once you get settled into your hotel.  Powders cause a bit of confusion.  Unless they are medically necessary and over the limit, I would leave them at home.

Prescription medications are allowed. You can bring your medication in pill or solid form in unlimited amounts if it is screened. Liquid medications are exempt from normal liquid rules — they are allowed in “reasonable quantities” for your trip.

Items Allowed

Prescriptions (pills, liquids, etc.) and over-the-counter medical supplies, such as saline solution for contact lenses

 

Liquids and gels that are necessary for a medical condition.

 

Accessories associated with medication, such as ice packs, freezer packs, IV bags, pumps, and syringes Mastectomy products and other cosmetic or medical augmentation items that contain gel or liquid.

 

Make sure all medications are clearly labeled. TSA does not require passengers to have medications in prescription bottles, but states have individual laws regarding the labeling of prescription medication with which passengers need to comply.

 

Per the TSA, It is not necessary to present your medication to or notify an officer about any medication you are traveling with unless it is in liquid form.

 

Always put your prescription medications in your carry-on.

Medical Marijuana

You are allowed to bring some CBD oil in carry-on bags. This guidance notes that passengers will be allowed to carry medical marijuana products and CBD products that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. However, CBD products must be derived from hemp to qualify.

The TSA’s new rules still ban other forms of marijuana, including certain cannabis-infused products and CBD oils that have THC, which are still illegal under federal law.

Don’t Pack These items in a Carry-on

    • Liquids, creams, and gels that exceed the allowance.
    • Knives (unless rounded or plastic)
    • Harsh/corrosive chemicals
    • Weapons and/or ammunition
    • Explosives (including fireworks and other flammable items)
    • Alcohol over 140 proof
    • Medical marijuana and CBD oil (that contains THC)

There may be confusion regarding flying with marijuana and CBD oil (which contains THC). We noted above that TSA released new information about flying with hemp-derived CBD oil.

 

Even though some states have legalized forms of marijuana, it is still considered illegal under federal law.  TSA is a federal agency and airport screening falls under its jurisdiction. For now, you cannot fly with marijuana or other items that contain THC in carry-on or checked luggage.

TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer. I have been standing in line to go through security when the drug dogs are escorted through. Just be on the safe side and don’t.

 

Remember: Even if an item is permitted, it may still be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The TSA makes the final decision.

 

If you need clarity on a particular item, you can contact the TSA at AskTSA on Facebook Messenger or Twitter. Agents are available to respond during normal business hours to help you before your trip. Send a picture.

Download MyTSA App

The MyTSA app, available for iOS and Android, includes features that show what you can (and can’t) bring past security.

 

It will give you current security wait times, identifies TSA PreCheck lanes in airports, and offers TSA feedback. This is a good tool to use for judging what time you need to arrive at the airport.

Check In Online

You will be allowed to check in online prior to your flight. It is best to do this so you can avoid the lines at the ticket counter.

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Leave Early

It is recommended that you arrive 2 hours before your domestic flight and 3 hours before an international flight. And even though the airport is not the best place to hang out but you can find plenty to eat, drink and shop while there.

Holiday and weekend travel will increase the load on TSA so be prepared to add time to your travels to the airport.

At the Airport

Provide Correct Identification and Documentation

Remember to bring a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, passport, or permanent resident card, to the airport. Your ID must show your name, date of birth, gender, and expiration date. And have it out and ready when you get to the Security Entry Point.

 

Note: Research REAL ID before you need to travel.

Separate Food Items

You will need to place your carry-on food items into a clear plastic bag and place that bag into a security bin to go through security.

 

Some food items can trigger an alarm during the screening process and separating the food from the carry-on bag lessens the likelihood that a TSA officer will need to open the carry-on bag and remove the food items for a closer inspection.

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Trusted Traveler Programs

Look into the best ways to get you We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t discuss the absolute fastest ways to get through airport security. 1. Trust Travel Program (TTP) 2. Global Entry 3. CLEAR

 

TTP: Members of the program are pre-screened and can breeze through security without having to take off their shoes or remove laptops from cases.

 

Global Entry: The U.S. Customs Department’s Global Entry program is another shortcut for frequent international travelers, especially as the federal government immigration and customs lines get longer. I don’t know how I managed my international trips without Global Entry!

 

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CLEAR: They use biometrics (your eyes and fingertips) instead of traditional photo identification to help speed you through the security checkpoint. This program is not available at all airports, so make sure this would be beneficial to you before signing up.

Special Procedures

Travelers using wheelchairs, mobility aids, and other medical devices still need to go through the airport screening process.

 

TSA screeners will inspect and physically screen wheelchairs and scooters. Smaller mobility aids, such as walkers, will need to go through the X-ray machine.

 

If you use a prosthetic limb or wear a medical device, you will need to inform the TSA screener. You may be asked to undergo a wand inspection or pat-down; you will not need to remove your medical device.

 

Most insulin pump manufacturers suggest that you do not go through a body scanner and opt for a pat-down instead as they are unsure what effect the small dose of radiation will have on your device.

Additional Screening

Familiarize yourself with TSA rules and processes for screening passengers, so you know exactly what to expect and what to do if your screening officer does not follow established procedures.

 

If you wear a head covering, TSA typically allows you to keep your head covered during the screening process. However, if your head covering is concealing, you will be asked to undergo a pat-down screening, which may or may not involve the removal of your head covering. This can be done with no public view.

 

If you are not prepared and TSA needs to go through your suitcase, they will hand it all back to you in a pile for you to repack. No fun!

 

Getting through security is no fun but I hope this post will help you breeze right through with no issues.  

 

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