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TSA Program Helps Travelers 'Prepare For Takeoff'

(November 19, 2002)

Airports across the country are preparing for the holiday travel season. On Tuesday, a program called "preparing for takeoff" is being unveiled by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Its goal is to offer traveler tips and information that will help the security process at airports go smoother and prevent delays.

TSA Officials want to remind travelers of the following:

Before the Airport

  • Avoid wearing clothing, jewelry, and accessories that contain metal. Metal items may set off the alarm on the metal detector.
  • Instead, place jewelry and other metal items, including the contents of your pockets, in your carry-on baggage until you clear security. Mobile phones, pagers, keys, lighters, and loose change are examples of items containing metal.
  • Put all undeveloped film and cameras with film in your carry-on baggage. Checked baggage screening equipment will damage undeveloped film.
  • Check ahead of time with your airline or travel agent to determine the airline's baggage policy, including number of pieces you can bring and size and weight limitations.
  • Carry-on baggage is generally limited to one carry-on bag plus one personal item. Personal items include laptops, purses, small backpacks, briefcases, or camera cases. Remember, 1+1.
  • The limit of one carry-on and one personal item (purse, briefcase or computer case) does not apply to medical supplies, equipment, mobility aids and/or assistive devices carried by a person with a disability.
  • Place identification tags with your name, address and phone number on all of your baggage, including your laptop computer. It is a good idea to place an identification tag inside your baggage as well.
  • Pack your outer coat or jacket in your baggage when possible.
  • Do NOT pack or bring prohibited items to the airport. Visit for a complete list.
  • Leave gifts unwrapped. Be aware that wrapped gifts may need to be opened for inspection. This applies to both carry-on and checked baggage.
  • Avoid overpacking so that your articles don't spill out if your bag is opened for inspection
  • Think carefully about the personal items you place in your carry-on baggage. The screeners may have to open your bag and examine its contents.
  • Consider placing articles in clear plastic bags inside your baggage to minimize handling of your personal items.
  • If you have a medical implant or other device that is likely to set off the alarm on the metal detector, bring evidence verifying this condition. Although this is not a requirement, it may help to expedite the screening process.
  • Check with your airline or travel agent to determine how early to arrive at the airport. Ask if you should go to the ticket counter or checked-baggage screening area first. Not all airports are the same.
  • Check with your airport to confirm which parking lots are open if you will be parking at the airport. Some lots may be closed for security reasons. Be sure to allow extra time for parking and shuttle transportation.
  • Bring a boarding pass, ticket, or ticket confirmation, such as a printed itinerary and a government-issued photo ID. Children under the age of 18 do not require an ID.
  • Double check your carry-on baggage to make sure you have removed prohibited items such as pocketknives, scissors, and tools.
  • If you do not have checked baggage and you already have a boarding pass, ticket or ticket confirmation, you can proceed directly to your gate through the security checkpoint. Please note that certain airlines do not offer gate check-in.
At the Airport
  • Do NOT bring drinks or other liquids to the security checkpoint unless they are in paper or polystyrene (e.g. Styrofoam TM), sealed or seal-able/spill-proof containers.
  • Do NOT bring food to the security checkpoint unless it is wrapped or in a container. Unpeeled natural foods like fruit are okay.
  • Put metal IN your carry-on bag. This includes jewelry, loose change, keys, mobile phones, pagers, and personal data assistants (PDAs).
  • Take OUT your laptop computer. Place it in a bin, separate from its carrying case.
  • Take OFF your outer coat. Place it in a bin. Suit jackets and blazers do not have to be removed, unless requested by the screener.
For a complete list of tips, check this Web site: TSA Travel Tips

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