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  • Writer's pictureAmber Brittain


Updated: Oct 1, 2020

Going through TSA security lines can be a pain at times. Have you ever been behind that person who was too busy taking off their belt and boots and forgot about their full water bottle at the bottom of their carry-on bag? Or, a little more embarrassing, have you ever been that person? Here are some quick and easy tips to make getting through security a breeze.

1. Remember 3-1-1

This is TSA’s quick little reminder about liquids in your carry on. Each passenger is allowed one quart sized clear bag to hold all of their liquid items that will go into their carry on. Each liquid container needs to be 3.4 ounces or less. (Both the container itself as well as the amount must not be larger than 3.4 ounces.) If you are packing a water bottle for your trip, you may pack it in your carry on, as long as it is empty. Since COVID-19, passengers are now allowed to carry up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer in their carry on. Please note that this could cause delays in getting through security as the bottles will have to go through an extra screening process.

2. Clothing

TSA requires that all passengers that all passengers remove their jacket, belts, shoes, and the contents of their pockets before stepping through the metal detectors or millimeter wave advanced imaging technology machines. We highly recommend wearing shoes that can be taken off and on easily. A large group all wearing lace-up boots or tennis shoes adds time in line for the group and for other passengers.

If you are a TSA Pre-check passenger, over the age of 75 or under the age of 12 you will not need to remove your jacket, belt or shoes for screening. If you fit one of these criteria, you should have a special pass or stamp that you received upon check-in.

3. Computers

Computers and tables must come out of your bags and be placed in their own bin. You can leave your computer in a neoprene sleeve if you have one. When you pack your bag make sure that your computer and tablets are easily accessible to grab and place in a tray.

Phones do not require their own bin and can stay in your carry on bag.

4. Bins

We highly recommend grabbing two to three bins when going through security. One bin for your laptop by itself , one for your tablet by itself and then the other bin for liquids, shoes, jacket and belt. Larger bags can go through the X-Ray machine without a bin. Some airports will allow you to combine your liquids and a small tablet in one bin, but each one is different so it's easier to grab the extra bin up front and remove it later.

5. Prohibited Items

As most people know, you cannot take explosives, firearms or weapons on the airplane. But what about scissors or lighters or various other items? For a full list to what TSA will or will not allow check out TSA’s website here.

6. TSA Pre-Check

If you are a frequent traveler, TSA Pre-Check is a must. TSA Pre-Check is an annual enrollment that costs about $80 per passenger. At airports that offer TSA Pre-Check, you will have access to an expedited security line which will get you through the lines faster. You can skip removing your jacket, shoes, belts or anything from your pockets. Laptops and liquids can stay in your bag. For more information on TSA Pre-Check, click here.

7. Ask TSA

If you are on Twitter, TSA offers a Twitter account set up to answer your questions about what you can and cannot bring through security. Just submit your 140 character question to @askTSA and they will get back to you.

Please feel free to ask us questions in the comment section and we will answer them as best we can.

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