TSA Regulations – Luggage Factory

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TSA Regulations

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Security is a fact of life, especially when traveling. Long lines at the TSA checkpoints can add to an already stressful travel day, and always-changing regulations can be difficult to remember. Advance planning can help lower your stress level and aid in getting you through the TSA checkpoint quickly and easily. Our guide below will give you background information on dos and don’ts and will ensure that you’re prepared for this screening.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • TSA Pre-Check - Know how to prepare before you go through TSA
  • Liquids 3-1-1 Rule - Not sure what liquids you can bring through TSA and how much? We have the break down for you
  • Electronic Devices - Everything you need to know as far as what electronics are and aren' permitted
  • Prohibited Items - A break down of what you can and can't bring through TSA
  • TSA Baggage Locks - Tired of having your locks cut/broken during checks? TSA Approved baggage locks may be a game changer for you
  • Checkpoint Procedures - You've made it! You have followed all the points in this guide and are ready to go through the checkpoint, here is the common procedure
Airports and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are infamous for long lines, busy terminals, slow moving security, and of course the nightmare of having to unpack your entire bag. A little pre-airport preparation can make all the difference in flying through security smoothly and being one step closer to that final destination.
  • Slip on shoes: For saving time and maximizing comfort, slip on shoes are great for easy removal through security and once you’re on the plane. Don’t forget a pair of socks to wear on the plane.
  • Prep your documents: There’s nothing worse than digging through your entire bag to find that boarding pass or ID while holding up an impatient line behind you. Save yourself the trouble and keep your boarding pass and government issued ID in a handy, easily accessible location. A small zipper pocket is usually ideal for this.
  • 3-1-1 Rules: Know what you can and cannot pack in terms of liquids according to TSA. Always pack an extra plastic bag, just in case you accidentally left a liquid in your bag.
  • TSA friendly laptop case: Pack your electronics wisely by using a TSA-approved case allowing you to leave your electronics inside your bag through security.
  • Avoid prohibited items: The easiest way to sail through security is to avoid packing prohibited items all together. Don’t forget to leave any gifts unwrapped!
  • Dress the part: Along with wearing slip on shoes, leaving the jewelry at home and emptying your pockets are often big time savers when going through security. If you do have jewelry, just place this, your cell phone and other valuables in a zippered bag pocket for safekeeping. Remove any excess clothing like sweatshirts or big jackets when approaching security.

TSA Pre-Check
The security lines in the airport are often the most frustrating part of a vacation. In order to help relieve some of the long lines and frustration for travelers backed up in security, the TSA has implemented a program to help expedite the checkpoint process called TSA-Pre™. Individuals approved for TSA-Pre™ do not have to take off belts, shoes, and outerwear when walking through the scanner. Frequent travelers can apply for the program on tsa.gov. If speed through the security check-point is a must, then TSA Pre-™ is a great option to consider.

Liquids 3-1-1 Rule

While most travelers are aware of restrictions limiting the liquids you can bring through security, it’s often hard to remember the exact rules, sizes, and required containers. Below is a breakdown of the TSA checkpoint liquid requirements. One clear, quart-sized, zip-top bag of liquids is all you are allowed to carry through a TSA checkpoint. These liquids constitute gels, creams, aerosols, and pastes in addition to traditional liquids. Each passenger is limited to just one of these bags. These different liquid types are limited to 3.4 ounces inside clear containers that fit inside the quart-sized zip-top bag. This is known as the 3-1-1 rule. There are some exceptions for baby food, formula, breast milk, and medications, but you must declare these items and you should ask questions ahead of time if unsure. Other than these rare exceptions, you must only pack liquids in accordance with this 3-1-1 rule. It is strongly recommended to have these liquids prepared and easily accessible before you go through security in order to expedite the screening process. If you are worried that your liquids do not meet the requirements, it is best to check them. If flying inbound to the United States from an international flight, you may carry on more than the requirements if the liquids are in transparent containers, you have a connecting flight while traveling into the United States, you purchased them in a duty-free shop, and they were contained in a secure, tamper-proof bag. Again, it is best to err on the side of caution and ask questions, or just check the liquids in your luggage if unsure. Other than these rare circumstances, all liquids must adhere to these requirements when processing through TSA checkpoints.

Electronic Devices

Whether you’re embarking on a short business trip or a month long family vacation, it’s most likely that you will be traveling with some electronic devices. It’s always recommended to travel with these electronics in your carry-on luggage to avoid loss or damage. However, you will be required to remove bigger electronics from your bag when going through security, unless you have a TSA pre-approved bag. Cellphones and small tablets can remain in your bag. Here is a simple guide to packing electronic devices to ensure a smooth, easy transition through security.
  • Pack laptops in TSA-approved laptop bags or carry-on bags, which do not require you to remove the electronics.
  • Keep laptops, iPads or other large electronics in easily accessible locations.
  • Be sure that your electronics are charged! TSA officers may ask the owner to turn on some devices and powerless devices will not be permitted on board.

Prohibited Items

Airport screening procedures change frequently and often vary when traveling internationally. Follow the TSA regulations to ensure getting through security as quickly and easily as possible. TSA enforces rules for both checked and carry-on items for all flights.
  • Be sure not to travel with wrapped gifts as officers may have to unwrap them for a closer inspection.
  • Sharp items are generally prohibited in carry-on bags. If you’re unsure about an item, check with TSA guidelines ahead of time.
  • Be sure that your electronics are charged! TSA officers may ask the owner to turn on some devices and powerless devices will not be permitted on board.
  • Firearms and explosive devices are prohibited in checked or carry-on luggage.

TSA Baggage Locks

Security, both through the airport and for personal items, has become a big issue for passengers and TSA agents. Despite electronically screening every individual piece of checked luggage that moves through the airport, there is still a need sometimes to physically search the luggage. In these instances, regular combination and padlocks will be cut or broken by the TSA in order to search your bag, leaving the contents of these bags insecure for the rest of the trip. However, there are TSA-approved combination locks that keep the luggage secure and allow the TSA to access the bag if there is a need. These locks are marked with logos by Safe Skies Luggage Locks and Travel Sentry available on this website. TSA-approved combination locks have a master key hole, only accessible to the TSA, and unlock via a combination that the individual can set and change. These inexpensive locks are one of the most cost effective travel accessories that one can buy to keep his or her luggage safe.

Checkpoint Procedures

The most daunting aspect of the airport is navigating airport security. The long lines, tricky requirements, and general stress from passengers and agents can irritate even the most prepared traveler. Below is a simple layout of the checkpoint procedures to help expedite the process. Before even leaving the house, one can cut down on the TSA hassle by packing in an organized manner. Keeping electronics, cords, clothes, and shoes separated in both carry-on luggage and checked baggage can go a long way in speeding up the security processes at the airport. Make sure all liquids are displayed according to the 3-1-1 rule and readily accessible to go through the scanner. Keep jackets packed in checked luggage or be ready to take them off and put them on the conveyer to be scanned. Overall, just keep bags organized and have the essentials such as liquids, laptops, and other large electronics ready to be inspected at the checkpoint. When arriving at the front of the line, a TSA agent will request to see a boarding pass and identification; therefore, both need to be out and ready at the front of the line. Once he or she has looked it over, it will be returned and the passenger will be directed to one of the available scanners. When approaching the scanner, make sure to remove shoes, belts, and jackets and place them in one of the bins provided. One tip is to put your cell phone, wallet, and jewelry in your carry-on during this process to keep them safe and organized. At this time, also remove large electronics (laptops, video game systems, etc.) from carry-on luggage and place them in a separate bin. Do the same with any appropriately packed liquids (According to the 3-1-1 rule). Empty pants or shirt pockets and proceed through the metal detector or body scanner as directed by a TSA agent. One easy way to avoid lugging out your laptop is a checkpoint-friendly backpack that unzips completely, allowing the TSA agents to view your laptop and other electronics. Once through the scanner, collect all your belongings, repack your bag in the staging area, and proceed to your gate. Always double check to make sure you have everything and that you returned your I.D. and Boarding Pass to a safe place. As stressful as a trip through the checkpoint can be, if you are prepared ahead of time, it will be smooth and painless.

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