TSA reminds summer travelers of the three simple steps to security

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Checkpoints to be fully staffed. Significant deployment of new technology underway.
National Press Release
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

WASHINGTON - As the summer travel season begins, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reminds travelers that coming to the checkpoint prepared for the security process will lead to shorter lines and less travel stress.

Passengers can actively improve the security process by being ready. Following these three steps will help everyone get through the security process faster:

  1. Show ID and boarding pass.
  2. Take out liquids (in a baggie) and laptops.
  3. Take off shoes and jackets.

1. Show ID and boarding pass

Beginning May 26, TSA will use a standardized list of acceptable identification for airline travel. Passengers who present a federal- or state-issued photo ID containing name, date of birth, gender, expiration date and a tamper-resistant feature that is free from evidence of tampering can expect to be expedited through the travel document checking process. Standardizing the list of accepted documents better aligns TSA with other DHS components and REAL ID benchmarks.

Passengers should remove their government-issued photo ID from wallets, plastic holders and other similar carrying cases, and present the ID along with their boarding pass at the start of the screening process. Hold on to the boarding pass until through the magnetometer, where it may need to be shown again.

2. Take out liquids (in a baggie) and laptops

Large liquids are still banned from carry-ons. Remember the 3-1-1 rule for liquids, gels and aerosols at the checkpoint:

  • 3-ounce bottles or less for all liquids, gels and aerosols placed in
  • 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag;
  • 1 bag per passenger placed separately in a security bin for X-ray screening.

The liquid restriction applies only to carry-on bags. Passengers can pack larger quantities of liquids and gels in checked baggage. Laptops must be taken out of their cases and placed in a separate bin for X-ray.

3. Take off shoes and jackets

Removing footwear for X-ray screening is required. Wearing footwear that can be easily removed helps speed the process. Please also put your jackets and sweaters in the bin.

"We recognize that the liquid restrictions and shoe removal are pain points for the public but they are necessary security measures based on current information," said Kip Hawley, TSA administrator. "Passengers can help the process by being prepared and recognizing that our officers are there for your safety. Please cooperate with our officers because your safety is their priority."

TSA is in the process of deploying more than 200 new technology units at the nation’s largest airports in time for summer travel. This technology includes multi-view advanced technology X-ray and millimeter wave, a form of whole body imaging technology. The airports receiving new technology in the coming weeks include Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, Detroit, Las Vegas, Washington-Reagan, Denver and others.

Multi-view advanced technology X-ray gives the security officers a better look at what is in carry-on baggage and has the potential to speed up the process because fewer bag checks will be required. The other advantage to multi-view X-ray is the equipment can be upgraded as new software algorithms are mastered. A total of 600 of these machines will be deployed during 2008.

Millimeter wave enables TSA officers in a matter of seconds to detect weapons, explosives and other metallic and non-metallic threat items without physical contact. This technology will primarily be used in a random continuous protocol. If a passenger declines to go through the millimeter wave portal, he or she will be subject to alternative screening measures.

These are the first significant additions to checkpoint technology since the walk through metal detector and standard X-ray machines were introduced in the 1970s.

For more information on what to expect, tips for people with special needs, and what you can bring, please visit the TSA Web site at www.tsa.gov.