How to go through the airport security line?

I will show you what to pull out of your bags based one the Transportation Security Administration x-ray screening procedures. You will learn what to put in the gray bin so that you can arrive on time for your flight. You can also watch a step by step instruction of what to do in the airport security line for your first time.

I teach travel tips from my experience as a pilot’s wife on YouTube to help you ”travel the globe without a worry in the world.”

Your bar code is your ticket.

It will be in paper ticket form or in electronic form (airline’s app on your phone). 24 hours prior to your flight you check in at home or wait until you can check in at the ticketing area with an agent. You will need a confirmation number to check in, which was emailed to you when you purchased a ticket. You will then see your boarding pass which is also called your ticket. That bar code is what the TSA officer will want to scan or view.

What you need to know:

is that all airports can have different machines. So in the Orlando airport you may need to place your bar code onto a screen, and in the Newark airport, you will hold up your bar code for the officer to scan. But you are ready for anything now that you know these travel tips.

When you get to the officer, you will still hand your identification to him or hold it up. When I traveled last week, I handed my ID to the officer.


Then you put those documents in the closest pocket you have so that you do not lose them and you keep moving. If you are not ready with your ID and bar code, it will delay you plus the other passengers who showed up ready with their identification and pass already out.

Changes in Airport Security Lanes

Big changes are happening across the United States airport security lanes. Many TSA lines have officers almost yelling, “Leave your liquids bag inside your bags. Do NOT pull out your liquids bag.”

But you do still have to have your liquids inside 3.4 ounce containers zipped up inside a quart-sized clear bag. There are some ways to pack toiletries while separating the liquids for screening. The good news is that you probably will never have to take it out in the TSA line. But we are ready!

Now you also have already loosened your shoe laces or wore slip-on shoes to the airport and are ready to put them into the gray bins. The only electronics that need to be taken out of your bags for screening are any that are larger than a phone.

So if I was walking through the TSA line (not PreCheck), I would take off my shoes and liquids bag and send that bin on down the conveyor belt. Next I would take out any electronics larger than a phone like a kindle or laptop. Then I just lay my backpack or tote bag on the conveyor belt followed by my carry-on suitcase.

Airport Security TIP:

Nothing can be in your pockets at my local airport. But at other airports you may not have to do that. So I arrive to the airport with nothing in my pockets. Just in case you did not know this, belts must be in the gray bin or in your bags JUST FOR airport security. I have mine in my outer suitcase pocket when I arrive to the airport and put it on after security.

You really have it easier now because they only want you to take out a few items.


When you reach a bench outside of security, or when you get to your gate, you will put them in a secure area. I would put my ID in my thin wallet or if using a passport, a secure pocket for that form of identification.

Travel Tip:

Some airports like Atlanta require you to put your carry-on suitcase in the gray bin. Just watch what others are doing.


I have seen many mistakes in the TSA line and made some common mistakes for you to avoid.

The easiest travel tip for airport security is to arrive 2 hours before your flight boards.

When Does My Flight Board?

On major airline sized airplanes, they want passengers to board 30 minutes and sometimes 40 minutes before the departure time. Look on your boarding pass or ticket to see what time your flight departs. Your goal as a passenger is to find a place to park, get through airport security and be in line at the gate where your airplane is parked 30 minutes to 40 minutes before the departure time.

The reason you want to get through the TSA line smoothly is so that YOU are not delayed. You will not get in trouble if you forget to pack your moisturizer in your liquids bag, but you knew from my toiletry tips not to. It just means the officer may pull you out of line for 5-10 minutes depending on how busy they are to re-inspect your bags. Then you have to repack your bag if they left if unorganized.

You will do fine! Now that you are in the airplane, let’s organize your seat back pocket! Grab your list below.

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