In the decade since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, security measures implemented by the Transportation Safety Administration have tightened up rules at airports, particularly with regard to what passengers can and can’t bring on airplanes.
Being aware of how best to pack your luggage to avoid TSA hassles at the airport is the best way to ensure you have a smooth travel experience when flying in America. Here are a few of the most relevant tips for travelers:
- Airline passengers are allowed one piece of carry-on luggage in addition to a personal item such as a laptop bag, purse, or briefcase. These items are scanned by X-ray machines and must meet certain size requirements specified by your airline. Be sure to check whether your carry-on luggage meets size requirements before going to the airport.
- One of the new safety regulations that causes the most headaches for travelers are TSA rules concerning carrying liquids in your carry on luggage. If you’re carrying a liquid in your carry on luggage, it must be stored in a 3 oz. or smaller container (prescription and OTC medicine may be exempt from this rule, as well as medical need-related liquids). All liquids you are carrying must be placed in a one quart plastic bag with a zip top. These bags must be checked individually when you are going through airport security screening.
- If you’re taking a laptop with you, labeling your computer with a business card or other tag can help you avoid accidental mix-ups with other travelers laptops.
- Your checked baggage consists of luggage that you check at the airport. This luggage is stowed in the cargo compartment of the plane during your flight. Packing your luggage correctly will help simplify your trip and avoid security-related delays. Pack your footwear on top of other contents for easier security checks. Avoid packing your travel luggage to the brim. Be sure to comply with luggage weight limitations.
- If you’re transporting gifts, avoid wrapping them until you get to your destination. TSA officer may require you to unwrap gifts for inspection.
- Be sure to show up early to the airport as TSA checks can slow you down and may even cause you to miss your flight.
- Avoid packing prohibited items such as guns, knives or dangerous chemicals in your luggage. Check your luggage carefully before you leave to ensure no prohibited items are included.
By packing carefully, you can avoid frustrating and time-consuming hassles with the TSA when you travel in the U.S. or abroad on an airline flight.