Air Port Security

Airport Security Regulations

To insure passenger safety, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) maintains strict security procedures at our nation's airport.

To insure passenger safety, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) maintains strict security procedures at our nation's airport. Here are some tips to help travelers navigate TSA regulations and make your air travel experience as smooth as possible.

Before arriving:

  • Review TSA's Security Procedures for "Getting through the Line Faster"
  • TSA PRE Check Guide
  • Prepare your 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag of liquids before arriving at the airport
  • Monitor local broadcasts for announcements of security checkpoint delays at local airports
  • Pack all your coats and jackets in your checked baggage when possible
  • Do not wrap gifts
  • Check-in online
  • Check your flight status online
  • Wear easy to remove and replace shoes
  • Check airline arrival time recommendations and plan to leave adequate time to check baggage and move through security.

Airport Arrival:

  • Approach the initial security check-point with your government issued identification and paper or electronic boarding pass in hand.
  • While waiting for the next available security screener or screening device, remove and place in bins:
    • all metal (i.e. belt buckle, coins, eye glasses, etc.)
    • plastic, zip-top bag of liquid containers
    • items from your pockets, including mobile phone
    • laptops from bag and place in separate bin
    • coat
    • shoes (usually required to be placed directly on conveyor belt)
  • Do not engage in trash talk about security or do anything else to call attention to yourself - this will only cause delays.
  • Remember, if you are selected for an enhanced pat-down, you have the right to request it be done in private



Plan for potentially long lines at check-in counters and airport screening stations.

You must have a picture I.D. such as a driver's license, passport, or other government-issued identification. Insure that you make your reservation in the exact name that appears on the identification you plan on presenting at the airport. If your name has recently changed and the name on your ticket and your I.D. are different, bring documentation of the change (e.g., a marriage certificate or court order).

The FAA also requires all non-U.S. citizens boarding international flights in the United States to show evidence of admission into the United States. Evidence of admission can consist of visas, I-94, parole letter, admission stamp, alien resident card, etc.


Passengers who do not have baggage to check and already have a boarding pass may proceed directly to the security checkpoint.

To enter the secured area beyond the security screening checkpoint, you must show a valid government-issued picture I.D. and an airline boarding pass. For more information on acceptable identification at TSA checkpoints, see: TSA ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints.

Provisions will be made for parents who need to meet unaccompanied minors, for disabled persons and persons with special needs who need to be accompanied by healthcare assistants or guardians and for medical personnel who need to respond to a medial emergency beyond the check point.

All passengers should check with their airline or airport, or visit the airline or airport web site for additional information. More information can also be found on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Web site

Keep your luggage and carry-on bags with you at all times prior to arriving at the airport and while in the terminal. Unattended bags will likely be confiscated and possibly destroyed by airport security.

Check with your travel agent or airline for information on carry-on luggage restrictions. For more specific information on what you can and cannot pack in checked luggage or airline carry-on baggage, see our Essential Guide to Airport Security Regulations & Airline Baggage.


The Transportation Security Administration restricts the amount of liquids passengers can carry on an airplane. Canada, the United Kingdom and European Union have imposed similar restrictions. See: TSA's 3-1-1 on Carry-On Luggage [PDF]

Do not accept any packages or materials from strangers.

Do not carry any sharp instruments (i.e., letter openers, knives, box cutters, scissors, etc,) in carry on luggage. They will be confiscated at airport screening stations. Visit the TSA Web site for an up-to-date list of prohibited items.

If you see any suspicious activity or see unattended bags, contact airline or airport personnel immediately.

Carry medications in your carry-on bags.

Hold onto your baggage claim check. Individual airports may elect to provide more security in the baggage claim area.