Travel: What TSA Expects of Passengers

What TSA Agents Want You to Know

When you travel, I want to help you know what TSA agents expect from you as an airline passenger. If you are traveling for the first time or if you commute for work on an airplane, these tsa airport security tips will help you. Travel through airport security can be difficult for you as an airline passenger and also for the transportation security administration employees known as TSA.

Airport security agents want you to be prepared to walk through security – you do the homework and pack so that you can take out your quart-sized liquids bag easily. travel-liquids-bag

If you remember to have that quart sized liquids bag ready, then you will also know how to put it away quickly. I put mine in my outside section of my carryon suitcase.  When I get to the gate, I put it in my personal item that will go under the airplane seat.

Stick around to the end to find out something that the customs patrol agents want you to know.

travel-necklace-for-passportHave your passport or ID out and with your ticket.  When I go through airport security, I have my ticket bar code on my phone from my airline’s app.  I have that refreshed and my ID with it.

Have your shoes ready to take off. I untie my shoes 3-4 people back.

Know that the TSA receives notices about travel security issues that they cannot tell the public.  So be gracious to them if they all of a sudden say that something odd has to be taken out of your bag.

Travel through different cities you find that TSA security is done a little differently in several cities.  For instance, Atlanta has dogs now sniffing for dangerous liquids so you do not take out your liquids bag anymore…or maybe for their testing period.  I have TSA precheck but my 14 year old does not.  So when we went through Atlanta’s security over Thanksgiving, we did not take off shoes or take out our liquids bag.  But in Houston, we had to.

When you travel, do not talk or joke with TSA agents. This March, we came back through Newark, and the TSA agent was saying a what I thought was a normal spiel.  So I asked, “Are we taking off shoes today?” And she responded, “Did I say anything about shoes in my spiel?” I did not reply and just kept putting things in the gray bin.

If you joke about doing anything harmful on an airplane, you will be taken out of line and most likely will not fly for a while so no bad jokes.

So basically, when you travel through airport security, put on your listening ears. Listen to their commands and reminders while you are standing in line.

I still see half empty water bottles and full ones going through security and then delaying all the people behind them. Even if the bottle of water only has 2 ounces of liquid in it, it cannot go through.  TSA rules state that the container has to be 3.4 ounces or less.  And all liquids need to go in that carryon bag. If you have liquids in your checked bag, they be stored in any shape or method. For a video on packing toiletries two different ways, click here.

So if you’re carrying lotion, the lotion bottle needs to be 3.4 ounces or less.  I cannot put this bottle in my carryon even if there is just a drop left in it per the TSA liquids rule.

disc-containers-for-lotionI store my thick lotion in this kind of container, and that is fine.  My sister in law was infuriated that TSA took her super expensive shampoo bottle.  But she had not followed the rule, and that was her fault. Knowledge is power!

Also, as part of being a smart traveler, know that TSA is not supposed to hurry up if you got to the airport too late and may miss your flight.  They are a government agency who is understaffed sometimes.  Frustrating as it is when they only have one lane open with a million passengers at the busiest time of day to travel, it is still not their fault.  Arrive at the airport 2 hours before a flight.

When you travel, you know you have to show your ID, but if you lost your ID you can still get through security.  It will take a very long time if you do not have another ID like your passport.  You will be whisked away, and they will probably be on the phone with a company called Secure Flight.  They will ask you all types of questions about your history.  Take a picture of you ID with your phone; it will not suffice, but it will help them to know that you are not on a security watch list.

When you travel as a gamer, you can take your Xbox or PS4, but know that TSA is not responsible for it after it goes through security.  If I stored one in my carryon suitcase and the airplane has no more room in the overhead bin, they will check my bag.  That means they will stow it in the belly of the airplane.  So it will get banged against and have bags weighing down on it.

CPAP machines and medicines that are in liquid form do not count as a liquid that needs to go in your liquids bag.  But TSA asks that you take out these items and put them in the gray bin just so they do not have to stop the line and investigate. I have a video about packing medicines that may help; I’ll link it in the cards as well as in the description box.

When I travel for a trip, I do not even put on my belt or jewelry at home until I get through airport security. Belts should be taken off.  Jewelry is tricky; some make the ding and some do not.  And jewelry is not consistent so I just leave it off. bench-after-security-line-in-airport

Antibacterial wipes in those packets do not count as a liquid.  It sounds like common sense, but so many of my viewers have asked this question. If you try to take this big tub of wipes, there is liquid in the bottom so it would not be allowed through security.

Lastly, you can check the TSA website for the alphabetical list of allowed items, call them to ask a personal question as well as go to Facebook and type “Ask TSA” to ask a personal question.

TSA also has a YouTube channel with short videos that may help y’all. Over 1 million people travel in an airplane each day here in the United States.

The TSA agents are faced with ignorant and dumb passengers who can be rude.  Yes, the agents can be very rude too, but I am sure they are running low on patience because of all the ignorant and dumb people who have come through.  So use common sense when you’re packing.  And don’t be super offended if they are rude to you.  Just smile or do not reply if they’re rude.

In customs coming back to America, do NOT go past the line until the customs agent has motioned you that s/he’s ready.  I tried to read the situation and help hurry up the line by walking up as soon as the passenger in front of me was ready.  The customs agent told me sternly to wait until he calls me.

Let’s be friends on Instagram where I share an outfit with a travel tip twice a week.

Occasionally I use affiliate links, and all opinions are my very own and honest ones.

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