Navigating Airport Security

How can you navigate airport security more easily? Know the rules of the road and use some common sense. Remember not only do you go through security, but your checked luggage does, as well.

Prepare before you arrive at the airport so that you move more quickly and efficiently through the security process. Following are some guidelines to help you:

How to Dress

While there is no particular style of clothing to wear, remember that you will have to: remove: your shoes (slip on shoes recommended), items containing metal, and items such as keys, loose change, mobile phones, pagers, and personal data assistants (PDAs) from your pockets. Remove or do not wear jewelry or other accessories that contain metal when traveling through the security checkpoints. You can place heavy jewelry and other metal items in your carry-on baggage or in plastic bags if they are offered, until you clear security. Some items that typically cause a problem are:

Heavy jewelry (including pins, necklaces, bracelets, rings, watches, earrings, body piercings, cuff links, lanyards or bolo ties)
Clothing with metal buttons, snaps or studs
Metal hair barrettes or other hair decoration
Belt buckles
Under-wire bras

Hidden items such as body piercings may result in your being directed to additional screening for a pat-down inspection. If selected for additional screening, you may ask to remove your body piercing in private as an alternative to the pat-down search.

Pack all your coats and jackets in your baggage when possible, otherwise they must be removed to go through screening. These include, but are not limited to, trench coats, heavy winter coats, suit jackets, sport coats and blazers.

What You Need to Show:

Your airline boarding pass and government-issued photo ID). The absence of proper identification will result in additional screening.

Other Tips to Make Your Screening Experience Quicker and Easier:

De-clutter your carry-on bag. This allows a clear, uncomplicated X-ray image of your bag. Limit quantities to what is needed for the duration of the flight. Liquids, aerosols and gels must be in a quart size zip-top plastic bag and removed from your carry on for screening. Items exceeding 3 ounces are prohibited and will be confiscated. If you have empty bottles, remove those from your bag and place them with your one quart bag of liquids. Security can’t see the bottle is empty as it goes through X-ray while in your bag, and they will stop you to check it unless it is laying loose in a bin.