TSA screens nearly 1.8 million passengers every day at more than 450 airports nationwide. TSA is committed to helping passengers understand the security screening process in order to improve their travel experience. Prior to airport arrival, here is what travelers need to know:
For the safety and security of the traveling public, TSA, FAA and airlines prohibit certain items from being brought onto airplanes in carry-on and checked baggage. TSA’s website features a detailed prohibited items list under the traveler information and the “Can I Bring…?” tool found on tsa.gov. Even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with or poses other security concerns.
TSA Travel Tips
Liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes, in limited quantities, are safe to bring in carry-on baggage and must comply with the following rules:
- 3.4 ounces or less for liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes.
- 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag to hold the liquids.
- 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin.
Medically required liquids such as baby formula and food, breast milk and medications are allowed in excess of 3.4 ounces
and must be declared to a TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process.
Adult travelers (18 and over) are required to show a valid U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID in order to be allowed to
go through the security checkpoint and onto their flight. Travelers who do not have an ID may still be allowed to travel
by providing additional information about themselves. Passengers who are cleared through this process may be subject
to additional screening. Passengers whose identity cannot be verified by TSA may not be allowed to enter the screening
checkpoint or onto an airplane.
“My TSA” Mobile App
“My TSA” is a mobile application that provides helpful information on the go, including which items are allowed in carry-on or checked baggage. There is also information on ID requirements, liquids rules and real-time operating status for U.S. airports from the Federal Aviation Administration plus additional travel tips. To access the mobile web version of “My TSA” on a mobile device, visit tsa.gov/mobile. Native iOS and Android versions of “My TSA” are available on iTunes and Google Play.
TSA Cares and Wounded Warriors
TSA Cares is a helpline designed to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. Travelers may call to ask questions
about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint prior to traveling. In addition, TSA Cares facilitates the screening process for wounded service members and veterans including individuals associated with a wounded warrior program. Travelers may also request a passenger support specialist at the airport.
TSA uses advanced imaging technology and walk-through metal detectors to screen passengers. Travelers have the option to
request a pat-down as an alternative. Whenever possible, the pat-down will be performed by a same-gender officer.
Additional Travel Tips
- Travelers are encouraged to check carry-on baggage before leaving home to remove prohibited items, such as firearms and knives.
- When packing, de-clutter and organize carry-on baggage to facilitate screening.
- Travelers are encouraged to arrive two hours before scheduled departure time.
- Travelers are recommended to wear slip-on shoes to remove and replace their shoes quickly.
- Pets must be removed from their carrying cases. The case must be screened through the X-ray machine. A leash will help maintain control of the pet but should be removed when carrying the pet through the metal detector.
Additional information can be found on TSA’s Website.