Prepare for takeoff

Prepare For Takeoff -Part 1

There are preparations you can make before you arrive at the airport to help you move more quickly and efficiently through the new security processes.

Dress the Part

Be aware that any metal detected at the checkpoint must be identified.  If you set off the alarm, you will be required to undergo additional screening, including a hand-wanding and a pat-down inspection that includes the torso.

You can remove metal items at the security checkpoint and place them in the plastic bags offered at several airports or in the bins provided.  The bins will be sent through the X-ray machine.  You can save time by not wearing metal items or by placing them in your carry-on baggage before getting in line.

TSA Shoe Screening Policy
You are not required to remove your shoes before you enter the walk-through metal detector.

HOWEVER, TSA screeners may encourage you to remove them before entering the metal detector as many types of footwear will require additional screening even if the metal detector DOES NOT alarm.  

Screeners will encourage you to remove the following footwear that is likely to require additional screening:

Footwear that screeners are less likely to suggest you remove includes:

OTHER TIPS:

Prepare For Takeoff -Part 2

There are restrictions on what you can pack in your carry-on and checked baggage. All of your baggage will be screened and possibly hand-searched as part of the security measures. This inspection may include emptying most or all of the articles in your bag. Here you will find tips to help you pack.

Pack Smart
 
Carry-on baggage is a small piece of luggage you take onboard the airplane with you. You are allowed one carry-on in addition to one personal item such as a laptop computer, purse, small backpack, briefcase, or camera case.
  • TSA will screen any "Carry-on" baggage that will fit through the x-ray machine, however, it is up to each individual air carrier as to whether the baggage fits the size restrictions for your flight.  Please check with the air carrier prior to proceeding through the security checkpoints.
  • LABEL your laptop computer.  Tape a business card or other identifying information beneath your laptop to avoid loss or the accidental "exchange" by travelers.

Checked Baggage is luggage you check in at the ticket counter or at curbside.  It will not be accessible during your flight.  Please refrain from locking your checked baggage.  If your baggage alarms and TSA cannot gain access to your checked bag, the lock may be broken.

DO NOT pack the following items in your checked baggage:

  • Jewelry
  • Cash
  • Laptop computers
  • Electronics
  • Fragile items (no matter how they are protected)

Below are a number of tips for packing your checked baggage that will help to speed your trip and ensure that your checked bag makes the flight with you:

  • Don't put film in your checked baggage, as the screening equipment will damage it.
  • Pack shoes, boots, sneakers, and other footwear on top of other contents in your luggage.
  • Avoid over-packing your bag so that the screener will be able to easily reseal your bag if it is opened for inspection.  If possible, spread your contents over several bags.  Check with your airline or travel agent for maximum weight limitations.
  • Avoid packing food and drink items in checked baggage.
  • Don't stack piles of books or documents on top of each other; spread them out within your baggage.

The following general packing tips apply to both carry-on and checked baggage and will help you to move through the screening process more quickly:

  • Do NOT pack or bring prohibited items to the airport. See permitted and prohibited items.
  • Put all undeveloped film and cameras with film in your carry-on baggage. If your bag will pass through the X-ray machine more than 5 times ask for a hand inspection to prevent damage.
  • Check ahead of time with your airline or travel agent to determine the airline's baggage policy, including number of pieces you can bring and size and weight limitations.
  • Carry-on baggage is limited to one carry-on bag plus one personal item. Personal items include laptops, purses, small backpacks, briefcases, or camera cases. Remember, 1+1.
  • Don't forget to place identification tags with your name, address and phone number on all of your baggage, including your laptop computer. It is a good idea to place an identification tag inside your baggage as well.
  • Avoid over packing so that your articles don't spill out if your bag is opened for inspection.
  • Think carefully about the personal items you place in your carry-on baggage. The screeners may have to open your bag and examine its contents.
  • Consider putting personal belongings in clear plastic bags to reduce the chance that a TSA screener will have to handle them.
  • Wait to wrap your gifts. Be aware that wrapped gifts may need to be opened for inspection. This applies to both  carry-on and checked baggage.