Thursday June 04 2020

Posted by on February 02, 2015
  • Making it smoothly through TSA can be half the battle of your trip.
    Making it smoothly through TSA can be half the battle of your trip.
  • Folks waiting for ground transportation outside the airport
    Folks waiting for ground transportation outside the airport
  • Doing your part to prepare for inspection can make everyone's life easier
    Doing your part to prepare for inspection can make everyone's life easier

The Pet Peeves of mine while traveling by Air.

I understand if you don't travel much by air that you would not know better. I'm amazed at how I see those that are obviously frequent flyers still hold up Transportation Security Administration (TSA) inspection lines by not being ready. What this little rant is about is how to be prepared for the TSA security screenings so as to whiz right through. It is easy if you make it so.

What to do?

Before check in, make sure you have no liquids or at least only the acceptable amount in your carry on and take any knives, liquids, clippers and scissors out of my carry on if that is the case and put into my checked bag. Obviously if don’t have a bag to check you should not have those things in your carry on. I travel a lot around where I live and my backpack that I fly with normally has a knife in it and possibly liquids that are too big so that is why I do this pre-check before the check in and I give them by bag(s) to check in.

Please know what they want…your boarding pass and ID so have them handy! When I arrive at the screening I hand them my ID (Passport for international) and boarding pass the only things I have that are not already put into my carry on. I then simply put down my pack and take off my shoes if appropriate and drop my laptop in a separate tray if I’m carrying one which is almost always. There are some new back packs and cases for laptops that are TSA approved that you may not be required to remove for laptop for the screening. A note on carrying a laptop internationally; I've heard but have never experienced is customs looking at computers, Ipads and MP3 players content for violations of boot leg movies and music. I personally don't have that on my laptop but customs has confiscated these devices according to reports from others. One way to make it easier to pass is maybe carrying an extra thumb drive or external hard drive if you must transport copyrighted materials over international borders.

Acceptable IDs for screening purposes include:

U.S. passport
U.S. passport card
DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)
Permanent resident card
Border crossing card
DHS-designated enhanced driver's license
Driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent) for the sole purpose of identification
Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
HSPD-12 PIV card
Airline or airport-issued ID (if issued under a TSA-approved security plan)
Foreign government-issued passport
Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
Transportation Worker Identification Credential 

Back to the rant...Please know ahead of time, what you can carry and how large of a carry on you may carry. See standard carry on sizes below. If you are planning a trip on an airline you are not familiar with go to their site to see their restrictions so that you have an easier time going through TSA and boarding and don't hold up the lines while you get an education that you could have given yourself! There are those TSA requirements but some airlines have other restrictions at the gate. Know that many airlines will not let you pass or board with open food but pre packaged sealed food is not a problem. How much in liquids is a big one. Remember the 3-1-1 liquids rule provided here:

If you have bought Liquids in a duty free shop at the gate (alcohol or any large liquid item) the store will have a receipt for you to take to the gate or even deliver it to you as get off the plane. Just let them know you will departing via the air and yes that is of course a regular request for their stores.

You may now carry liquids more than 100 mL in your carry-on bag if:

You are traveling internationally into the United States with a connecting flight;
they are in transparent containers;
you bought them at a duty-free shop, and
the store packed them in a secure, tamper-evident bag.

If your liquids are not in a secure, tamper-evident bag, you must pack them in your checked bag.

If the liquids alarm during screening, they will need to screen them further.

Being respectful of others while making it easier for you to pass through TSA and to board your flight and not holding up the line is not that difficult. Just a little planning ahead, a pre-check of your own and putting those personal items away before the TSA check, goes a long way towards whizzing right through the security checks and boarding process.

Boarding Process and carry-on bag size

Carry-on bag size is very important to know. This is the largest of the smallest sizes allowed. So if you are buying a bag you might want it to be no more than these dimensions 22" Long x 14" Wide x 9" High some airlines allow larger, but not all. So if you want a bag that can travel on all airlines and not just Virgin or Alaska that allow larger sizes for example, stick with the size above. I have an expanding bag that fits those dimensions and it is a piece of cake to fit even when expanded and heavily loaded.

Another note on the subject of carry-on baggage  is that while many people want to get off and not deal with checked baggage it is really holding up everybody not only at the TSA screening but when boarding as there is limited space for everyone because so many are carrying on maximum amount of luggage. I have found and demonstrated to friends that in many airports especially with customs and immigration that waiting for bags is not that big of a deal. I like the fact that some airlines like Volaris in Mexico are charging for carry-on baggage! And letting you check at least 1 if not 2 bags for free! This helps of course to discourage carry-ons that then make the TSA screening even faster for all.

Please try and be a considerate traveler and not just some ignorant  tourist that holds up the line and the boarding process because you either don’t know the rules, are not pre-prepared for TSA or are just carrying too much as a carry on.

On a final note for business travelers and frequent flyers you may be qualified for TSA Pre✓® which is a fairly new program that you may apply for to use a faster lane and not have to remove belts, shoes or light weight jackets. To see the advantages and make an application for this follow this link:.

Please think of others as well as yourself and prepare for the TSA checks and boarding of the aircraft and it will go much easier for us all. Happy Travels..Buen Viaje!



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