Fly Through Airport Security – Do’s & Don’ts

You can get through the airport security line faster by traveling with unwrapped gifts and following the 3-1-1 rule when carrying on liquids, including liquid food items like cranberry sauce and gravy. You can also use the My TSA app or mobile website if you’re at the airport and need last minute information about what you can and can’t bring through security

Helpful Tips For When Arriving At The Airport

Due to increased security measures, we recommend that domestic passengers arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to their flight. International passengers are encouraged to allow additional time and to check with the air carrier.

To expedite the screening process, please pack all liquids and gels – including shampoo, toothpaste, perfume, hair gel, suntan lotion and all other items with similar consistency in your checked baggage. Carrying liquids of any sort to the screening checkpoint will cause you delays, and will most likely result in the item being confiscated.

Every passenger can assist in ensuring that flights are safe and hassles minimized:

Pack lightly, without clutter, to facilitate easy screening
Ensure that all liquids are packed in your checked baggage
Do not bring liquids or lighters to the security checkpoint
Review the Prohibited Items List prior to traveling to expedite passing through the screening checkpoint
Cooperate with TSA personnel at checkpoints and with airline personnel at gates
Be attentive and vigilant to any suspicious activity and report it to authorities
Passengers traveling to the United Kingdom will be subject to more extensive security screening processes, including a physical inspection of baggage at the departure gate.

As a customer service initiative, we are providing security checkpoint wait time information to assist travelers in planning for their next flight. The wait times are historical so please note actual wait time may vary depending on factors including weather delays, which result in increased passenger levels.

When calculating arrival time, remember to build in time for non-security related issues, including parking, and ticketing/checking in with your airline. Please consult your airline and airport for additional guidance on arrival time. Find your security checkpoint wait time.

Your assistance in helping us respond to this aviation security threat quickly and effectively is appreciated.


Traveling With Prescription Medications

When you’re flying with prescription drugs, be sure to prepare them carefully before you head out for the airport. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests these precautions for air travel with prescription medications:

  • Pack your meds in a carry-on bag, so they don’t get lost.
  • Carry with you a list of your prescriptions, including brand and generic names.
  • Carry a letter, on your doctor’s letterhead, with the physician’s prescription for any injectable or controlled substance.
  • Make sure someone at home has an extra copy of your prescriptions.
  • If traveling internationally, consult with the American Embassy or Consulate to ensure that your meds are allowed in the host country.


3-1-1 on Air Travel

  • Make Your Trip Better Using 3-1-1

TSA and our security partners conducted extensive explosives testing since August 10, 2006 and determined that liquids, aerosols and gels, in limited quantities, are safe to bring aboard an aircraft. The one bag limit per traveler limits the total amount each traveler can bring. Consolidating the bottles into one bag and X-raying them separately from the carry-on bag enables security officers to quickly clear the items.

3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume) ; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3.4 ounce (100ml) container size is a security measure.

Be prepared. Each time TSA searches a carry-on it slows down the line. Practicing 3-1-1 will ensure a faster and easier checkpoint experience.

3-1-1 is for short trips. If in doubt, put your liquids in checked luggage.

Declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint. Officers may need to open these items to conduct additional screening.


Air Traveling with Food or Gifts

  • How to Pack Food and Gift Items

When it comes to bringing items through checkpoints, we’ve seen just about everything. Traveling with food or gifts is an even bigger challenge. Everyone has favorite foods from home that they want to bring to holiday dinners, or items from their destination that they want to bring back home.

Not sure about what you can and can’t bring through the checkpoint? Here’s a list of liquid, aerosol and gel items that you should put in your checked bag, ship ahead, or leave at home if they are above the permitted 3.4 oz.

  • Cranberry sauce
  • Cologne
  • Creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, etc.)
  • Gift baskets with food items(salsa, jams and salad dressings)
  • Gravy
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Lotions
  • Maple syrup
  • Oils and vinegars
  • Perfume
  • Salad dressing
  • Salsa
  • Sauces
  • Snowglobes
  • Soups
  • Wine, liquor and beer

Note: You can bring pies and cakes through the security checkpoint, but please be advised that they are subject to additional screening.

Remember! – While wrapped gifts are not prohibited, if a bag alarms our security officers may have to unwrap a gift to take a closer look inside. We recommend passengers wrap gifts after their flight or ship them ahead of time, to avoid the possibility of having to open them during the screening process.


Minimize Jet Lag

Jet lag can leave you feeling too tired to enjoy your new destination, but there are things you can do to help your body prepare.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these suggestions to help beat jet lag:

  • Limit use of alcohol.
  • Make sure you’re well-rested before you depart.
  • Eat healthy, balanced meals, and don’t overeat.
  • Exercise frequently while on your trip.
  • If you need a sleep medication, use it only for a few days.
  • Stick to local meal times and bed times
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