TSA screens more than 2 million passengers every day at nearly 440 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. A prohibited items list and the “Can I Bring My…?” tool can be 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.
3-1-1 Liquids Rule
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.
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.
Medications in pill, liquid or other solid form are allowed but must undergo security screening. Passengers may bring medically necessary liquids, medications and creams in excess of 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in their carry-on bag. These items should be removed from the carry-on bag to be screened separately. Liquid medication is not required to be in a plastic zip-top bag. Ice packs, frozen gel packs, and other accessories required to cool medically necessary liquids must be completely solid at the security checkpoint. If these accessories are partially frozen or slushy, they are subject to the same screening as other medically necessary liquids.
TSA Cares and Wounded Warriors
The TSA Cares helpline assists 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. 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 Cares Contact Information:
Weekdays: 8:00AM – 11:00PM ET
Weekends/Holidays:9:00AM – 8:00PM ET
Most travelers have the option to request a pat-down as an alternative. However, some passengers will not be able to opt out of AIT screening if their boarding pass indicates that they have been selected for enhanced screening. Whenever possible, the pat-down will be performed by a same-gender office.
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.