There's nothing more important to us than your safety. But there are ways to stay safe and still swiftly make your way through security. The guidelines for security check-in depend on your itinerary — which countries you’re visiting or traveling through — because not all countries have the same requirements. But not to worry, we'll point you to where you can find detailed instructions for every possible itinerary.
TSA's recently announced changes to its Prohibited Items list, including allowing small pocket knives on aircraft, has been temporarily delayed. For more information, visit tsa.gov.
ALL THE DOS & DON'TS
The laws of liquid. Most countries now prohibit or strictly limit the size of containers with liquids, gels, aerosols and pastes (including the empty containers) during security check-in. Prepping ahead of time may help prevent some hassles at security check-in or the frustration of having personal property confiscated.
For U.S. arrivals, the items may be placed in your checked luggage after passing through Customs and Immigration. For non-U.S. arrivals, we suggest you do not purchase any liquids, gels or creams. Special provisions are usually made for necessary items such as medications and baby formula.
What’s considered a liquid or gel? Here are a few examples:
• Hair gel
• Suntan lotion
• Other items of similar consistency
Fly through the security check-in in most countries by following these guidelines for your carry-on baggage:
• For all liquids, gels, aerosols and pastes limit each container to a maximum size of 3.4 oz/100ml
• Place all such items in a single quart-size, clear plastic, zip-top bag
• Remove your quart-size bag from your carry-on and place in the provided bin at the security checkpoint
Want more tips? Read the TSA's 3-1-1 For Carry Ons.
Some countries have a program that lets you purchase duty-free items, which are placed in a specially sealed bag by the vendor. You can then travel within that country/region with the item in your possession or in your carry-on.
If your travel takes you through a security check-in in a country that does not recognize the same program, you may or may not have the opportunity to place the item in your checked baggage. If you're unable to place the item in your checked baggage, it may be confiscated.
For specific guidelines visit the website resources below for links to the appropriate government agency.
Tips from the travel pros. These simple hints can help you to breeze through security checkpoints, just like the seasoned professionals do. And isn’t that what we all want?
• Travel light — minimal clutter will speed up the screening process
• Leave cigarette lighters at home
• Leave your pocket-knives, scissors and any other sharp objects at home or put them in your checked baggage
• Pack any spare lithium batteries for laptops, cellphones, etc. in your carry-on luggage only. Read DOT's Spare Battery Tips.
• Be ready to take off your shoes (we love slip-ons) and put belts, mobile phones and metal objects in your carry-on
• Take your laptop out of its case and place it in the provided container. Want to keep it in the bag? Use one of the new laptop bags designed in compliance with TSA guidelines.
• Have your ID and boarding pass out and ready to show
• See Check-in Requirements to find out when you should arrive at the airport