Even if you’re a frequent flyer, the screening process can be overwhelming at times. For the uninitiated first-time traveler, it can be even worse. Follow along in our short blog series where we will share tips for first time flyers, frequent travelers and people who just want to get through security more efficiently!
Suitcases and Carry-Ons.
Let’s start with the basics: personal/carry-on bags and checked bags. Carry-on bags (or personal baggage, depending on the airlines) are any bags you are planning to carry with you on the plane, while checked bags are those destined for the cargo hold of the plane. When it comes to the size and weight of your bags, policies vary from airline to airline. The airlines also make the rules on which bags count towards your carry-on allowance and which will incur checked baggage fees. So before your scheduled flight, make sure to check your airline’s policy and guidelines page.
Oh, and if you think TSA officers only screen your carry-on bags then you are mistaken. TSA officers screen all bags – including checked bags – before your flight takes off. So be sure to pack smart and check your bags thoroughly for prohibited items before you arrive to the airport. For the best resource to understand what you can and cannot bring in your carry-on or checked bag, check out the What Can I Bring? tool on the TSA website.
Pack like a Pro.
When packing your carry-on bag, organization is key! Keep your large electronics – like computers, tablets and video game consoles – as well as your travel liquids bag at the top of your bag for easy accessibility. This will make your screening experience smoother when you’re asked to pull these items out of your bags and place them in bin for screening. Have additional questions on how to best prepare your carry-on bags for security screening? Check out this video to learn more.
TSA’s Liquids Rule.
How familiar are you with TSA’s liquids rule? And why do we have specific guidelines for liquids? Liquid explosives still pose a threat to aviation, so allowing passengers to carry their liquids, gels and aerosols in smaller containers lessens that risk. So what qualifies a liquid? Here’s an easy way to think about that: if you can spread it, smear it, pump it or spray it, it is considered a liquid. Watch this video to learn more on how to best travel with your liquids.
Heading to the Airport
Don’t forget your mask and give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the airport early. Running to your gate in a face mask doesn’t sound like much fun to us! We also recommend wearing easily removable shoes (and socks) to make the screening process a little bit smoother for you! Again, don’t forget your mask!
A Final Travel Tip (for now)
Download the MyTSA app! The MyTSA app provides passengers with 24/7 access to the most frequently requested airport security information on any mobile device. Check delay information and current weather conditions at your favorite airports nationwide. You can also use the “What Can I Bring?” tool right in the app to know if an item can be packed in your carry-on or checked bag before arriving at the airport.