TSA Travel Tips:
- As you wait in line at the security checkpoint, place all metal items in a carry-on bag and take laptops and video cameras out of their cases.
- Travel with unwrapped gifts. If a wrapped gift sets off an alarm, TSA screeners will need to unwrap the gift to resolve the alarm.
- To minimize the risk of damage or loss, don't pack fragile or valuable items in checked baggage. Take them with you in carry-on baggage, or ship them to your destination instead.
- Put undeveloped film in carry-on baggage because equipment used to screen checked baggage will damage film. Also, high-speed and specialty film should not be put through X-ray machines, so passengers may ask screeners at the checkpoint to physically inspect film.
- You are NOT REQUIRED to remove your shoes before you enter the walk-through metal detector. However, TSA screeners encourage you to remove them because many types of footwear - including boots, platform shoes, and footwear containing metal or having a thick
sole or heel - will require additional screening even if the metal detector DOES NOT sound.
- Screeners request certain shoes that match a terrorist profile to be removed for additional checks. This is one of the lessons of the "Richard Reid" incident.
- Get to the airport in plenty of time.
- Remember to put identification tags in and on all baggage including laptops.
- Everyone, even frequent fliers, should double check the contents of their pockets and bags, particularly carry-on luggage, to ensure no prohibited items were inadvertently packed.
- Passengers selected for additional screening have the right to request it be done in a private location.
- Don't overpack bags. If screeners have to open them, closing overstuffed bags can be difficult and may result in that checked bag being delayed until a later flight.
- If TSA screeners need to open a locked bag for inspection, they may have to break the lock. There are now products on the market that have uniform locking systems that enable screeners to open and relock a bag. Passengers without such devices may still want to consider leaving bags unlocked.
Air travelers can make a significant contribution to security by checking out "Prepare for Takeoff" at http://www.TSA.gov. The website has good advice for packing smart and not wearing
jewelry, shoes or clothing that may set off metal detector alarms, as well as lists of Permitted and Prohibited Items.