Do you remember back in the day when you could literally walk someone to the gate (or even onto the airplane) to say goodbye, I feel old saying that I remember those days.

However, as the world has changed, especially post 9/11, airports have significantly tightened security and I truly am grateful. But this does mean that there are strict rules that you must adhere to when it comes to what you can pack on your carry-on as you go through Transportation Security Administration ( TSA) screening in advance of boarding your plane.

This post will highlight some of the key things you need to know regarding TSA Rules, what to pack…and what to leave at home.

Required Identification

Let’s start with the obvious. You need identification when you go to the airport. I have heard of folks making it onto the plane without a form of valid ID…but seriously…is it worth the hassle?

 

If you do happen to find yourself at the airport without your wallet, there are some workarounds…but they are not guaranteed and it likely won’t be an enjoyable experience. You will need to be verified against a public database, which can take extra time. So, if you find yourself in this situation, just hope you are not already running late for your flight.

Per the TSA website, the following forms of identification are acceptable for adults over the age of 18.

  • Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential

Children under the age of 18 are not required to show identification IF they are traveling with a companion. 

Before we got our kids’ passports, I would keep a photocopy of their birth certificates in my purse, just in case. They were never needed…but I like to be overly prepared like that. 

via GIPHY

 

The Logistics

You will be required to remove your shoes when passing through security in the United States. This step is generally not necessary overseas. Additionally, electronics will need removed from your luggage and passed through the conveyer belt separately.

This post will highlight some of the key things you need to know regarding TSA Rules, what to pack...and what to leave at home.

Any liquids will need placed in a quart-sized bag, must be less than 3.4 oz and removed from luggage for screening, as well. More on that below.

TSA Pre-Check

Avid travelers ( or those that are not much for lines) may want to consider TSA Pre-Check. By applying online in advance and signing up for the background check, TSA Pre-Check passengers can usually breeze through much shorter security lines and not have to remove any articles of clothing or items. As of September 2019, 93% of passengers waited less than 5 minutes. You can sign up online for $85 and be pre-checked for five years. 

What I Can Bring With Me On The Plane?


Knowing the rules of what you can and cannot bring with you on the airplane in your carry-on luggage is important to avoid delays and hassle at security screening. 

Some items are obvious no-nos… guns, axes and flammables. Other items may cause you to wonder. If you have an odd item ( Antlers anyone… the answer is yes, carry on allowed…) you can visit a complete list of items to check on the TSA site.

Some interesting items that TSA does not allow in your carry-on include ( but are not limited to):

  • Snowglobes
  • Medical marijuana
  • Golf clubs/bowling pins/baseball bats — if you can beat someone on the head with it, the answer is no.
  • Jar of Peanut Butter ( technically considered a liquid, so it is allowed…if it is less than 3.4 oz. 

This leads us into the next section….

Can I bring Liquids In My Carry-On Suitcase?

When planning to pack liquid items, you must follow the 3-1-1 Rule.

The rule is that you can bring liquids that are in a bottle with a maximum volume of 3.4 oz (100 ml); the bottles must fit in 1 quart-sized clear, plastic zip bag; and no more than 1 bag per passenger that is placed in the luggage screening bin.

When planning to pack liquid items, you must follow the 3-1-1 Rule. The rule is that you can bring liquids that are in a bottle with a maximum volume of 3.4 oz (100 ml); the bottles must fit in 1 quart-sized clear, plastic zip bag; and no more than 1 bag per passenger that is placed in the luggage screening bin.

Gels and pastes count as liquids. Mr. L learned the hard way when he had to ditch his toothpaste in Raleigh. 

What about Food?

All liquid is acceptable as long as it is less than 3.4 oz. This includes bottled water. Bring a refillable water bottle that can pass through security empty and simply fill at a water fountain before boarding.

Alcoholic beverages over 140 proof are prohibited.

Baby formula and breast milk are allowed. Just make sure you remove them from the rest of your carry-on for inspection. You can read more about the specific rules for these items on TSA’s Traveling with Children site.

TSA Rules for Medication

Medication is an exception to the liquids rule. Pill forms are always allowed. Though not required, I would make sure it is in the original prescription bottle to avoid any issues and declare you have it when you enter the screening area.

Can I Bring My Razor On The Plane?

This one is a little confusing. Sharp objects are typically off-limits ( throwing stars, anyone?) This means that straight razors and razor cartridges meant to refill razors are unacceptable.

a disposable razor that is attached to a handle are good to go in your carry-on

However, a disposable razor that is attached to a handle are good to go in your carry-on, as are electric razors. So, there’s no need for your legs to emulate that of a chimpanzee’s when you get to where you’re going… 

What if I accidentally bring a banned item in my carry-on?

If you unwittingly bring a banned item through security, more than likely, the easiest option is to let TSA confiscate the item for disposal or donation. If you have enough time, you can possibly leave the area to go put the item in your car ( assuming you are departing and have one in the lot) or have an option to check the item. The latter is dependant on whether or not you have a bag that has already been checked and is accessible by the airline. IN some cases, airports have the option for you to mail your item home at a cost. 

Regardless, you will risk either losing the item or time. To stay updated on all of the current TSA rules and restrictions, make sure to check the list at www.tsa.gov.

 

Basic TSA Rules

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