Transportation Security Administration
The TSA Contact Center is here to help travelers prepare for upcoming flight. Whatever your question about traveling through TSA security, whether at the checkpoint or for checked baggage, we will get you an answer.
Every year, millions of people travel. A few minutes of advance research can really make the difference for you and your traveling companions. If you are planning a trip, you should take a moment to read the traveler’s checklist (pdf, 218kb) – it is full of practical tips for having safe and enjoyable travel.
Below are some links to helpful travel information and other resources if additional information is required. We realize that different types of travelers need different types of information so we have included links for sports fans, traveling with children, disabled travelers and more.
TSA Contact Center Information
Hours: Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. Eastern Time
Weekends/Holidays: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Eastern Time
Talk to TSA
In addition to speaking with a Contact Center representative, passengers can provide feedback or request information by using the Talk to TSA online inquiry form. TSA has recently updated Talk to TSA to provide passengers with a quicker response time to their inquiry. For more information on recent Talk to TSA updates, click here, or click the button below to go to the form to submit feedback.
Other Contact Forms
- Freedom of Information Act
- Crew Member Self-Defense Training (CMSDT)
- Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP)
- Aviation Workers Program (AW)
- General Aviation Programs (GA)
- Hazardous Materials Endorsement Threat Assessment Program (HTAP)
- Indirect Air Carrier Program (IAC)
- Registered Traveler Program (RT)
- Transportation Worker Identification Credential Program (TWIC)
- TSA Ombudsman
Frequently Asked Questions
TSA is partnering with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as well as U.S. air carriers as part of this initiative. Certain frequent travelers from Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways and certain members of CBP's Trusted Traveler programs, including Global Entry, SENTRI, and NEXUS who are U.S. citizens are eligible to participate. In addition, passengers 12 and younger are allowed through TSA Pre✓™ lanes with eligible passengers.
Q. How do I enroll in TSA Pre✓™?
A. Participating airlines will permit some of their frequent flyers, based on TSA criteria, to opt-in through the airline’s system. Participating airlines have contacted eligible frequent travelers with an invitation to opt-in. Current members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Global Entry, SENTRI or NEXUS programs are already eligible to participate in the TSA Pre✓™ concept if they are flying on a participating airline at a participating airport.
Q. Will I receive expedited screening every time I fly?
A. Although no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening, TSA is moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach and toward a more intelligence-driven, risk-based effective and efficient security system. If TSA determines a passenger is eligible for expedited screening, information is embedded in the barcode of his or her boarding pass. When TSA scans the barcode at the security checkpoint, the passenger may be referred to a lane for expedited screening. Expedited screening may allow passengers to no longer remove certain items such as their shoes, outerwear, jackets, and belts, or remove laptops from carry-on bags.
Please note: Passengers are eligible for expedited screening on domestic itineraries only. Passengers with an itinerary that includes an international leg will not be eligible for any portion of their flight.
Employment with TSA
Job vacancies with TSA and other Federal agencies are posted on the Office of Personnel Management employment Web site at www.USAJobs.gov. To be considered for a position, you should apply under a specific vacancy announcement. By reading the announcements and carefully following the instructions, I assure you that your application will receive fair and complete consideration.
Q. What If I am unable to apply online or want to check the status of my application?
A. If you are unable to apply online, you may contact the TSA HRAccess Help Desk at (877) 872-7990 or TTY at (877) 872-7992 for assistance.
Adult passengers, 18 and over, are required to show a valid U.S. Federal or State-issued photo ID that contains a name, date of birth, gender, expiration date and a tamper-resistant feature. A passenger that refuses to provide any ID and will not cooperate in the identity verification process will not be allowed to enter the screening checkpoint
Q. Can I fly with an expired ID?
A. If you lose your primary ID or it has expired, TSA may accept other forms of ID to help verify your identity.
Q. If I lose my ID during travel, what secondary forms of ID will be accepted?
A. Passengers who do not have a valid photo ID, such as State-issued driver’s license, should bring any ID or documents they have available to assist in verification of identity. Passengers need at least two alternate forms of identification, such as a social security card, birth certificate, marriage license, or credit card. The documents must bear the name of the passenger. Also, one of these documents must bear identification information containing one of the following: date of birth, gender, address, or photo. If TSA can confirm the passenger’s identity, they may enter the secured area, but they could be subject to additional screening. For more information, please review the ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints.
Q. What ID is needed for minors traveling domestically/internationally?
A. Minor children (younger than 18) are not required to provide an ID at the airport security checkpoint. They will just need their boarding pass. All passengers, including children, on international flights are required to have a passport in their possession.
Q. Can I use my birth certificate and social security card to fly, if necessary?
A. Adult passengers are required to show a valid U.S. Federal or State-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license. Review the ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints for a list of acceptable IDs. If you do not have this type of ID, TSA can accept other forms of ID to help verify your identity, including your birth certificate and social security card.
Q. Can I use an ID that has a hole punched in it?
A. IDs with a hole punched through the expiration date are considered expired. Adult passengers are required to show a valid U.S. Federal or State-issued photo ID. If you do not have this type of ID, TSA can accept other forms of ID to help verify your identity. See question #2 above.
Lost and Found
Left or lost something at the TSA checkpoint click here for a list of lost and found numbers.
TSA Cares is a helpline number designed to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.
Q. Are my medications (liquids or pills) exempt from screening?
A. Travelers passing through security checkpoints may bring all medications and related supplies—prescription, over-the-counter items, and homeopathic—through TSA security checkpoints after these items have been properly screened.
Q. Are my liquid medications limited to 3.4 ounces in a quart sized bag?
A. Passengers are not limited in the amount or volume of these items carried in their carry-on baggage; however, if the medically necessary items are liquids, gels, and aerosols (LGAs) that exceed 3 ounces or are not contained in a single, one-quart, resealable, plastic bag (the 3-1-1 rule), they must be declared to a Transportation Security Officer (TSO) at the checkpoint for further inspection.
Q. I have a metal implant. I always alarm when I go through the walk through but down want to be subject to radiation with the AIT. What screening method should I choose?
A. If a passenger has metal implants, such as artificial knees or hips, he or she should inform a Transportation Security Officer (TSO) before screening begins. TSA has created notification cards that travelers may use to inform a TSO about any disability, medical condition, or medical device that could affect security screening. Although these cards do not exempt anyone from security screening, their use may improve communication and help travelers discreetly notify TSOs of their conditions. This card can be found at: http://www.tsa.gov/assets/pdf/disability_notification_cards.pdf.
Many passengers with metal implants that regularly alarm a walk-through metal detector prefer to be screened by Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT). Passengers can be screened using AIT only if they can stand still with their arms above their heads for 5-7 seconds without the support of a person or device. An eligible passenger can request to be screened by AIT if it is available or can request to be screened using a patdown; however, passengers cannot request to be screened by the walk-through metal detector in lieu of AIT or a thorough patdown.
If a passenger cannot or chooses not to be screened by AIT or a walk-through metal detector, the passenger will be screened using a thorough patdown procedure instead. A patdown procedure also is used to resolve any alarms of a metal detector or anomalies identified by AIT.
What Can I bring on the plane and in checked baggage?
The “Can I Bring App” was developed to assist travelers in determining if an item can be taken onboard an aircraft. Please visit TSA’s Web site at www.tsa.gov and go to the “Can I Bring…” application located on the right-hand side of the home page. By entering an item in the search field and clicking “submit,” the tool will tell you if the item can be taken in checked or carry-on baggage.
TSA has published guidelines to help passengers through airport security. Our guidelines include a list of permitted items as well as an expanded list of items prohibited from aircraft cabins. The prohibited and permitted items list is not intended to be all-inclusive and is updated as necessary. TSA reviews these lists periodically, and changes are announced and posted as necessary.
To ensure the security of all travelers, Transportation Security Officers have the discretion to prohibit a passenger from carrying an item through the screening checkpoint or onboard an aircraft if the item poses a security threat. TSA security screening personnel make the final decisions on whether to permit items into the sterile areas of airports.
Q. Can I bring certain foods
A. Passengers are allowed to travel with food through TSA checkpoints; however, all food must undergo x-ray screening. The only screening restriction on bringing food in carry-on baggage applies to foods that are liquids, gels, or aerosols. These foods must be in containers 3.4 ounces or smaller and fit comfortably in a single, quart-size, clear plastic, resealable bag (the 3-1-1 rule). To save time, passengers should not bring food to the security checkpoint unless it is securely wrapped or in a spill-proof container. Unpeeled natural foods like fruit are acceptable.
Q. Can I bring items for the baby? (formula/breast milk)
A. Passengers flying with or without an infant or toddler may bring more than 3.4 ounces of breast milk (in a liquid or frozen state) through screening checkpoints after undergoing additional screening. In addition, breast milk must be separated from other property and declared to a Transportation Security Officer (TSO) prior to entering the checkpoint.
Although TSA does not specifically limit the amount of breast milk a passenger may bring in their carry-on bags, we encourage travelers to be practical about these amounts. The amount a traveler carries should be reasonable and consistent with their itinerary. Passengers should ask to speak with a supervisor at the security checkpoint if they have any questions or concerns with these procedures.
When traveling with an infant or toddler, passengers are also allowed to bring into the screening checkpoint more than 3.4 ounces of pre-mixed baby formula (in a powder, liquid, or frozen state); milk products; juice; gel or liquid-filled teethers; bottled water; and canned, jarred, processed baby food and essential non-prescription liquid medications. These items also must be declared to a TSO prior to entering the screening area, and the items must be separated from other property. These items will be subject to additional screening, and passengers may be asked to open a container if required by a TSO.
AIT vs. Patdown
TSA screening technology includes equipment such as walk-through metal detectors; carry-on luggage scanners (checkpoint x-ray systems); explosives trace detection systems (for checked baggage); and more recently, AIT. All or some of these technologies may be used at the airports through which you travel.
Q. Will by child receive a patdown?
A. TSA has implemented revised screening procedures for passengers 12 years old and younger. The new screening procedures include permitting multiple passes through the metal detector and advanced imaging technology to clear any alarms as well as the greater use of explosives trace detection. TSA anticipates these changes will further reduce—although not eliminate—the need for a physical patdown for children that would otherwise have been conducted to resolve alarms.
Q. Can I choose the way I would like to be screened?
A. Screenings using AIT are voluntary. Individuals who do not wish to be screened by this technology will be required to undergo alternative screening, including a thorough patdown. Signs are posted in front of each AIT location advising passengers of this right.
However, if an adult accompanying a child 12 years old or younger opts out of AIT screening on the child’s behalf, the child will receive a modified patdown. TSA never separates a child from an accompanying adult. The adult may observe the entire patdown process and may assist by holding the child’s hand. Please be assured that TSOs are trained to conduct these procedures professionally and respectfully.
Q. I am 75 years old. Why are you patting me down?
A. TSA has implemented a program that revised screening procedures for passengers who appear to be age 75 and older. Under this new screening procedure, passengers who appear to be 75 and older will be allowed to leave on shoes and light outerwear. These new procedures also include permitting an additional pass through advanced imaging technology (AIT) to clear an alarm, as well as greater use of explosives trace detection. Passengers who are 75 or older will be informed of the changes to the screening procedures by Transportation Security Officers during the screening process.