Advice for First Time Travelers Part 2.

Thursday, October 15, 2020
At the airport

Did you miss the first blog in the series? Check it out to see what you need to know before you get to the airport.

Alright, at this point you’ve made it to the airport and checked in for your flight. It’s time for the security screening process. Deep breaths, you got this. 

The Document Checking Process.

Before you get to the document checker, be sure you have both your ID and boarding pass in hand. That brings us to our first point – what are acceptable forms of identification?

Adult passengers 18 years old and over must show valid identification at the airport checkpoint in order to travel. (Visit here to see a list of acceptable ID). We don’t require an ID at the checkpoint for passengers under the age of 18, however your airline’s policy may differ so be sure to reach out to them as well. What happens if you’ve misplaced your ID? Watch this video to learn what you should expect.

Once you are called to approach the officer at the podium, just follow their direction. We are adhering to CDC guidelines, so please be mindful of others and social distance. After the officer confirms that your information matches, they may ask you to lower your mask briefly to verify your identity. Then you’re on your way to the next step!

The Screening Process.

After you read this blog, you won’t be frantically looking around to follow your fellow passengers’ lead, you’ll be the one they look to as an example!

First things first, you’ll want to remove everything from your pockets and place it inside your carry-on bag. Yes, even that old stick of gum. Next, you’ll need to remove your belt and shoes and place them directly on the belt. Good thing you wore socks to the airport! Lastly – and this is where packing in layers comes in handy – your liquids bag and large electronics must come out of your bag and go into a bin. When placing your items into a bins, make sure the items are in one layer! Don’t worry, you can use as many bins as you want! If you can’t picture what we’re talking about here, don’t worry, we’ve made a video for this too! One last important note: please stay with your property until you see it all enter in the X-Ray machine.

The Body Scanner is next in the screening process. Once directed in, place your feet on the footmarks and lift your hands over your head. After the scan, you’ll continue on to be reunited with your items. You can also choose to not got through the scanner and opt for a pat-down instead. Curious about what to expect during a pat-down? Watch this video to learn more.

We know you all are stellar students and have been taking notes throughout this blog series, so we’re confident that your packing skills are now on point. So since you had no prohibited items in your bags, the X-ray screening process should be a breeze. In no time you’ll be reunited with your items and on your way to your gate to catch your flight!

Remember that old stick of gum? Feel free to throw it right into your mouth, you earned it!

Stay Healthy. Stay Secure.

One last and important note on those CDC guidelines we mentioned before, we’ve made some important changes to our screening process to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. To see what those changes may look like, watch this short video.

TSA Cares

Travelers who require special accommodations or who are concerned about the security screening process at the airport should reach out to the TSA Passenger Support team – TSA Cares. TSA Cares provides travelers with disabilities, medical conditions and other special circumstances additional assistance during the security screening process. Contact TSA Cares by email at or by phone at 855-787-2227 (Federal Relay 711). To be sure you receive the assistance you need, make sure to contact TSA Cares 72 hours prior to traveling with questions and requests.

About This Blog

The purpose of this blog is to share the latest news and helpful information with the public. If you have questions about TSA or the information presented here, please contact our AskTSA customer care team on Twitter or Facebook.

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