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How To Easily Get Through TSA Airport Security [Includes Infographics]

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Christy Rodriguez

Christy Rodriguez

Travel & Finance Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 36U.S. States Visited: 31

After having “non-rev” privileges with Southwest Airlines, Christy dove into the world of points and miles so she could continue traveling for free. Her other passion is personal finance, and is a cer...
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For many travelers, getting through airport security is one of the most frustrating aspects of flying. Long lines combined with regulations that seem to change constantly can be anxiety-inducing!

One way to reduce your stress is to dress smartly. Another is to be familiar with the rules set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regarding any items you want to pack.

Here is some more guidance so you can sail through TSA security and get to your gate worry-free.

Before You Leave

Planning ahead and packing properly can help speed up the screening process and ease your travel experience at the airport.

Pack Appropriately

In the U.S., you may bring 1 carry-on bag and 1 personal item into the passenger compartment on most airlines. Discount airlines, such as Spirit, have stricter rules.

Also, make sure that your luggage fits in the allotted baggage space. Each airline has slightly different carry-on size requirements, so make sure to check with your airline for more information.

Liquids and Powders

Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Per TSA requirements, all liquid and gel items must be 100 milliliters (3.4 ounces) or smaller per item. Every liquid and gel product you carry into the passenger compartment must meet this requirement and fit into a single, 1-quart zip-closure clear plastic bag.

If you must bring larger liquid or gel items, you will have to place them in your checked baggage unless they are medically necessary or used for your baby (we’ll break down these exemptions below). Anything larger than 3.4 ounces will be confiscated (including bottled water).

Based on 2018 guidance from the TSA, powders may need additional screening. Consider putting powders into your checked bag unless they are medically necessary.

Due to COVID-19, TSA released updated guidance in March 2020 related to hand sanitizer. It is currently allowing up to 12 ounces until further notice.

Bottom Line: Packing your carry-on appropriately is especially important in the COVID-19 era to reduce potential issues — resulting in fewer touchpoints for TSA officers.

Medications and Equipment

Image Credit: Upgraded Points

You can bring prescription medications (liquid or otherwise) through security. You can bring your medication in pill or solid form in unlimited amounts as long as it is screened. Liquid medications are exempt from normal liquid rules — they are allowed in “reasonable quantities” for your trip.

Other items allowed are:

  • Prescriptions (pills, liquids, etc.) and over-the-counter medical supplies, such as saline solution for contact lenses
  • Breast milk and baby formula
  • Baby food purees (in pouches, jars, or cans)
  • Liquids and gels necessary for a passenger with a medical condition or for toddlers (such as water, juice, or “liquid nutrition” like Boost)
  • Accessories associated with medication, such as ice packs, freezer packs, IV bags, pumps, and syringes
  • Mastectomy products and other cosmetic or medical augmentation items that contain gel or liquid

Make sure all medications are clearly labeled. TSA does not require passengers to have medications in prescription bottles, but states have individual laws regarding the labeling of prescription medication with which passengers need to comply.

Per the TSA, “it is not necessary to present your medication to or notify an officer about any medication you are traveling with unless it is in liquid form,” as we discussed above.

Hot Tip: Never put prescription medications in a checked bag — carry on all medications.

Breast Milk

For formula, breast milk, or juice for infants or toddlers you will need to notify a TSA officer and then remove these items from your carry-on. They will be screened separately by X-ray and the liquids may be tested. Also, these items do not have to fit inside a quart-sized bag and can be in quantities larger than 3.4 ounces.

You’re also allowed to carry freezer bags, ice packs, and frozen gel packs to keep your breast milk frozen. As long as these are frozen, you shouldn’t run into any issues with TSA. If these items happen to be partially frozen or slushy, they are subject to the same additional screening but are still allowed.

You may also bring teething items (either gel or liquid-filled), as well as baby food — either in cans, jars, or pouches. These items may also be subject to additional screening.

Hot Tip: You don’t need to travel with your child to bring breast milk.

A breast pump is also considered a medical device by the FDA. Since there are no specific guidelines, though, it’s best to check with your specific airline to see if you are allowed to get an extra carry-on item for your breast pump.

Medical Marijuana

TSA released guidance on medical marijuana in May 2019. You are now allowed to bring some CBD oil in carry-on bags. This guidance notes that passengers will be allowed to carry medical marijuana products and CBD products that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. However, CBD products must be derived from hemp to qualify.

The TSA’s new rules still ban other forms of marijuana, including certain cannabis-infused products and CBD oils that have THC, which are still illegal under federal law.

Items That Aren’t Allowed

Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Many items aren’t allowed through a TSA security checkpoint. While some of these items may seem like common sense, there may be a few surprises:

  • Liquids, creams, and gels exceeding the allowance
  • Alcohol over 140 proof
  • Harsh/corrosive chemicals
  • Weapons and/or ammunition
  • Explosives (including fireworks and other flammable items)
  • Knives (unless rounded or plastic)
  • Medical marijuana and CBD oil (that contains THC)

There may be some confusion regarding flying with marijuana and CBD oil (that contains THC). We noted above that TSA released new information about flying with hemp-derived CBD oil.

While some states have legalized forms of marijuana, it is still considered illegal under federal law. TSA is a federal agency and airport screening falls under its jurisdiction. While it may change in the future, you cannot fly with marijuana or other items that contain THC in carry-on or checked luggage.

TSA’s website specifically notes: “TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”

For a full list of items that are not TSA-approved, check the TSA website.

Even if an item is permitted, it may still be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns.

Bottom Line: TSA always makes the final call on whether an item is allowed through security or not. If in doubt, pack the items in your checked luggage or don’t bring them at all.

For items that you’re not sure about, you can always send a picture or question to AskTSA on Facebook Messenger or Twitter. Agents are available to respond during normal business hours to help you before your trip.

Dress Smartly

You will have to take your jackets and shoes off at the security checkpoint and put them into a plastic bin for screening unless you are over age 75.

Wear shoes that require minimal effort to take off and put back on — you’d hate to re-lace those knee-high boots if you’re in a rush! Also, several thousand people walk through the metal detectors each day … so you will probably want to wear socks.

Wear clothing and shoes without metal, and be ready to remove your belt if it has a metal buckle. Tuck large metal jewelry pieces into your carry-on bag before you go through the security checkpoint.

Put change and keys into your carry-on or empty your pockets into a plastic bin when you arrive at the checkpoint. If you have body piercings, either remove them before you go through security or prepare yourself for a pat-down screening.

Download MyTSA App

The MyTSA app, available for iOS and Android, includes features that show what you can (and can’t) bring past security.

It also notes current security wait times, identifies TSA PreCheck lanes in airports, and offers TSA feedback. This is a super handy tool to use for judging what time you need to arrive at the airport!

Image Credit: TSA

Check In Online

Check in online to avoid a long wait at the airport. You can usually check in online 24 hours before your flight, all the way up to an hour before your scheduled departure.

Leave Early

Though TSA does not actually offer any specific recommendations for airport arrival time, the general rule of thumb is 2 hours for domestic flights and 3 hours for international flights.

TSA recommends contacting your airline for a better estimate based on your specific day and time of travel. Obviously, times like holidays and weekends will be busier than your mid-day Tuesday flight! COVID-19 has also slowed down processing at some airports — due to both staff shortages and increased delays.

Be sure to factor in traffic to the airport, parking and shuttle transportation, airline check-in, obtaining a boarding pass, and going through the security screening process.

Hot Tip: You can check the MyTSA app above for a real-time update of security wait times and make plans accordingly.

At the Airport

To avoid starting your travel day off on the wrong foot, you should consider these tricks to minimize your time waiting in long airport security lines.

Be aware that due to COVID-19, TSA is consolidating its screening operations to adjust for reduced flight and passenger volumes. Impacted security checkpoints may close as a result, so passengers may be redirected to other security screening checkpoints at the airport.

Provide Correct Identification and Documentation

Remember to bring a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, passport, or permanent resident card, to the airport. Your ID must show your name, date of birth, gender, and expiration date.

Here are some other forms of TSA-approved ID:

Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Due to COVID-19, TSA is now allowing expired driver’s licenses to be used at TSA checkpoints. It notes:

If your driver’s license or state-issued ID expired on or after March 1, 2020, and you are unable to renew it at your state driver’s license agency, you may still use it as acceptable identification at the checkpoint. TSA will accept expired driver’s licenses or state-issued IDs a year after expiration.

Have you heard about the upcoming deadline to obtain a REAL ID? It’s important to read up about everything you need to know about REAL ID and how it relates to the documents you need to bring to the airport.

Place your tickets and identification in a spot that’s easy to reach so you won’t have to fumble around for them in the security line.

Hot Tip: If you’re traveling internationally with children, they’ll also need a passport! For more information, check out our step-by-step guide on getting a U.S. passport for your baby.

Separate Food Items

The TSA has advised that passengers without TSA PreCheck should place their carry-on food items into a clear plastic bag and place that bag into a bin.

This is because food items often trigger an alarm during the screening process and separating the food from the carry-on bag lessens the likelihood that a TSA officer will need to open the carry-on bag and remove the food items for a closer inspection.

Trusted Traveler Programs

We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t discuss the absolute fastest ways to get through airport security — Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP)! TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are the most common, but many airports also have CLEAR as well (though CLEAR is not a TTP).

TSA’s PreCheck has spread to more cities across the U.S. and is now available at 200+ airports and over 85+ participating airlines. Members of the program are pre-screened and can whiz through security without having to take off their shoes or remove laptops from cases.

According to the TSA, 90% of TSA PreCheck travelers wait in line for less than 5 minutes! We’ve written an extensive guide to TSA PreCheck where you can learn more about the program including costs, requirements, and which credit cards will reimburse you for the membership fee!

The U.S. Customs Department’s Global Entry program is another shortcut for frequent international travelers, especially as the federal government immigration and customs lines get longer.

Hot Tip: While Global Entry helps international travelers speed through U.S. security AND customs on international flights, membership comes with TSA PreCheck to help you speed through security on domestic flights as well! 

CLEAR uses biometrics (your eyes and fingertips) instead of traditional photo identification to help speed you through the security checkpoint. This program is not available at all airports, so make sure this would be beneficial to you before signing up.

Just because you are a member of a Trusted Traveler Program, it does not ensure that you won’t be randomly selected for a search by TSA.

Putting Items in Bins

Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Unless you have TSA PreCheck, you will have to remove various items, such as liquids and large electronics, from your luggage and place them in separate bins before going through security.

You will also have to remove your shoes, items from pockets, jewelry, and large jackets.

Recent guidance states that you may also be asked by TSA to remove snacks and powders for additional inspection — so be prepared for those items to be screened in more detail.

Note that if you are over the age of 75, you are exempt from removing your shoes and jackets.

Since 2008, the TSA has allowed laptops to remain in bags that meet its checkpoint-friendly design criteria. Laptop bags will need to have a designated laptop-only section with no zips, straps, or pockets on either side. When your laptop bag is screened, the laptop must lay flat on the belt, having nothing else with it, and provide an unobstructed view either above or below the laptop.

Note that even if your laptop bag is checkpoint-friendly there is no guarantee that you will not be asked to remove the laptop for screening.

Special Procedures

Travelers using wheelchairs, mobility aids, and other medical devices still need to go through the airport screening process.

TSA screeners will inspect and physically screen wheelchairs and scooters. You will need to put smaller mobility aids, such as walkers, through the X-ray machine.

If you use a prosthetic limb or wear a medical device such as an insulin pump, you will need to inform the TSA screener. You may be asked to undergo a wand inspection or pat-down, but you will not need to remove your medical device.

The majority of insulin pump manufacturers suggest that you do not go through a body scanner and opt for a pat-down instead as they are unsure what effect the small dose of radiation will have on your device.

Hot Tip: When in doubt, you can always ask TSA for a pat-down screening.

Additional Policy Changes Due to COVID-19

Travelers who have not flown since the pandemic are also likely to notice some other changes. They include:

  • Reduced security lane usage due to the reduction in passenger volume
  • TSA officers will continue the practice of changing gloves after each pat-down
  • Plastic shielding installed at many travel document checking podiums, divest, bag search, and drop off locations
  • TSA officers practicing social distancing
  • Routine cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces in the screening checkpoint area

Check out TSA’s website for further information.

Hot Tip: Many airlines and airports are also providing specific COVID-19-related guidance to travelers; please check with your airline prior to your trip.

Traveling With Children

The TSA has modified screening rules for children under the age of 12.

You will not be separated from your child and can carry your small child or infant through the detectors or have them in a sling. If a child is capable of walking through the detectors without assistance, they may do so. Children under 12 are exempt from removing their shoes, light jackets, and headwear.

All children’s items including bags, blankets, toys, carriers, strollers, and baskets must be screened by X-ray. If the item is too big to fit through the machine it will be subject to a visual or physical screening by TSA officers.

Traveling With a Pet

Traveling through an airport with an animal can be incredibly complicated and stressful — so much so that we studied which airports are best and worst for pet travel, as well as the best and worst airlines to fly with pets.

All animals must still pass through the security checkpoint, so reading our guide will help you prepare for this process.

At a minimum level, be sure to let the TSA officer know that you are traveling with an animal. They will not have to go through the X-ray machine but will have to go through the metal detector or be patted down just like a human.

If your animal has a crate, it will have to be passed through the X-ray machine. TSA officers will expect you to control your animal during this process.

Additional Screening

There are things like the medical devices noted above that may require additional screening. TSA officers sometimes ask to look through your luggage or need to perform additional screenings of your person.

The best thing to do is to familiarize yourself with TSA rules and processes for screening passengers, so you know exactly what to expect and what to do if your screening officer does not follow established procedures.

If you wear a head covering, TSA typically allows you to keep your head covered during the screening process. However, if your head covering is too concealing, you will be asked to undergo a pat-down screening, which may or may not involve the removal of your head covering.

In this case, be sure to ask the screening official to conduct the pat-down and/or head covering removal in a screening area away from public view.

Duty-free Alcohol

Buying 2 bottles of rum at the duty-free shop may save you money, but it may not save you time if you have to change planes after clearing customs.

You’ll need to put those 2 bottles into a checked bag, as the liquids rule still applies to duty-free items (no containers larger than 3.4 ounces). If you have a nonstop flight, you don’t have to worry.

Hot Tip: Do you have other questions about security screenings that we have not addressed here? Check out TSA’s website.

Upon Arrival

Once you arrive at your destination, make sure you have everything you brought with you — after leaving the secured area, you will not be able to return.

If you realize that you did leave something, locate the nearest help desk or information booth within the airport. They will be able to help you retrieve any items that may have been left on the plane or in the secured area. You can also contact TSA Lost & Found.

Final Thoughts

It’s never fun standing in long airport security lines, especially if you would rather spend that extra time relaxing in the airport lounge before your flight or if you need to rush to your gate.

Thankfully, with some preparation, getting through airport security can be quick and painless!

Frequently Asked Questions

Per TSA requirements, all liquid and gel items must be 100 milliliters (3.4 ounces) or smaller per item. Every liquid and gel product you carry into the passenger compartment must meet this requirement and fit into a single, 1-quart zip-closure clear plastic bag.

If you must bring larger liquid or gel items, you will have to place them in your checked baggage unless they are medically necessary. Anything larger than 3.4 ounces will be confiscated (including bottled water!).

Due to COVID-19, up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer is permitted until further notice as of March 2020.

While you can bring your wallet with you, you must remove all items from your pockets, including wallets, keys, belts, coins, and phones. You must place this in the provided bins to be screened.

To make it easy to get through TSA security, we recommend wearing comfortable clothing, including shoes that are easy to take on and put back on. Keep things like large jewelry, decorative belts, and other metal items in your bag, if possible.

TSA is making some changes due to COVID-19.

  • All employees must wear gloves when searching luggage
  • Changed guidance to allow additional hand sanitizer
  • Increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces and security screening equipment, including bins
  • Encouraged social distancing measures

About Christy Rodriguez

After having “non-rev” privileges with Southwest Airlines, Christy dove into the world of points and miles so she could continue traveling for free. Her other passion is personal finance, and is a certified CPA.


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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


Darla Starbuck

July 30, 2019

Do medications have to be in separate labeled bottle or is it allowed for some of various pills be pulled together on one pill box?

Christine Krzyszton

July 31, 2019

Hi Darla. TSA does not require medications to be in separately labeled bottles. However, there may be laws at your destination or connecting airports with which you need to comply and those may require medications be in their original prescription containers. Here is more info on this topic of the TSA and traveling with medications:

Linda Tuttle

August 27, 2019

I have a prescription gel for a skin condition that is 6 oz. Can I carry it on or must it be in a checked bag?
Also, my medications and vitamins are in a daily container marked Sunday through Saturday.
Is that acceptable?
Thank you.

Christine Krzyszton

August 27, 2019

Hi Linda. Your prescription gel is exempt from the 3.4 oz limitation for liquids that can be taken through TSA. Just show the container to the TSA agent. There is not a requirement that prescription pill medications be in their original containers but they must be clearly marked, especially if you’re traveling internationally. Some countries also have strict rules regarding the amount of medication you can bring into the country. Even different states have different rules. It is also not recommended that you put medications in your checked luggage. There is additional information on the TSA website as well:


October 06, 2019

Lesson here is, travel to any country EXCEPT the USA. That’s a no brainer though.

Diana Marhula

October 29, 2019

I just returned from a trip to New Orleans and was shouted at twice by a black man at security. I was in a wheelchair. I am 79 years old and he made me take my shoes off – even though I know that is not required after the age of 75. I am writing this because I am wondering what is wrong with some of these employees at U.S. airports? I have traveled to many other countries and have never been treated like that before.

Christy Rodriguez

October 30, 2019

Hi Diana, I’m so sorry you were treated that way on your recent trip. Note that we are Upgraded Points, a website dedicated to giving travelers information that will help them with their travels, like the article you commented on. We have no affiliation with TSA or the New Orleans airport, so we recommend contacting one (or both) of those entities in order to note your issues and receive a response to your question.

Thanks for reading!

Douglas Jones

February 22, 2020

You mention many things you have to put in the bins at security, but you don’t mention wallets. Do you have to put your wallet in a bin?

Jarrod West

February 22, 2020

Hi Douglas,

Yes, you should place your wallet in the bin when going through security.


September 07, 2021

“update: Due to COVID-19, travelers are also encouraged to remove items such as belts and items from their pockets, like wallets, keys, and phones, and put them directly into their carry-on bags, instead of into the bins, to reduce touch-points during the screening process.”

mr welsh

March 01, 2020

I am planning a trip. I will be bringing pictures in a small black album as well as cut-outs in a plastic bag. Where is the safest place I can put them where they will be safe?

Christy Rodriguez

March 02, 2020

Hi Mr. Welsh, we recommend keeping all valuable items with you in your personal item or carry on bag when you travel. These are not prohibited items, so TSA won’t have any issues with your traveling with them. Hope this helps!

mr welsh

April 23, 2020

It is safe to put pictures through the XRay machine at airport security?

Christy Rodriguez

April 24, 2020

Hi Mr. Welsh. Pictures, digital cameras, and processed film are totally fine to put through X-Ray machines. If you have any unprocessed film, it is usually best to place this in your checked luggage. Thanks for reading!


July 06, 2020

Can I place my driver’s license in a clear bag and hold for the security officer to read, thus avoiding personal contact. Thank you.

Jarrod West

July 06, 2020

Hi Marion,

There does not appear to be any guidance on this on the TSA website, but due to Covid they might allow this. Just keep in mind that they might ask you to remove the ID for further inspection if need be.

Thanks for reading!


August 01, 2020

Can I get onto the plane with a non-government issued learner’s permit?

Christy Rodriguez

August 03, 2020

Hi Jenny, anyone 18 or older must show valid identification when passing through TSA checkpoints. Unfortunately, a learner’s permit is not included in this list. For the most part, they must be governmentally issued IDs that have your picture on it. For a whole list (and exemptions), see the website here.


May 28, 2023

A government issued driving learner’s permit is a valid form of identification. It is simply a different type of driver’s license issued by the State, requiring the same “Real ID” criteria as a regular license.

Md. Monjurul Islam

October 07, 2020

I will go from DOH Airport to PHL (Terminal A) port then PHL (Terminal 0) to MCO port. But I can not find Terminal 0 in PHL port in Google Map. Would you please advise me?

Jarrod West

October 07, 2020

Hi Md.,

Terminal 0 is a placeholder used before the gate block is assigned for some systems that require it. So as you get closer to your travel date the actual terminal will be designated.

Amélie Richard

December 12, 2020


I would like to inform you that airport security has increased in some airports, notably London International Airport.
Indeed, once I arrived at the security checkpoint, the agents asked me to take off my jeans jacket, shoes, belt and jewellery but also my pants: a pair of blue skinny jeans.

So it was in socks, panties, and a t-shirt that I went through the scanner.

Christy Rodriguez

December 14, 2020

Hi Amelie – I am sorry you had to experience that. This sounds like something that should have been done in a private area as opposed to you being out in public. If this happens again, I would request a private screening.

This article is specifically referencing TSA’s procedures in the United States and your experience was in London. I would suggest reaching out to the airport you received this treatment at as this is highly irregular.

n chapman

November 08, 2021

Where exactly is London international airport? I live in UK and as far as I know, there is no such place. All airports have their own name, Gatwick, Heathrow. City Airport, Stanstead, Luton. NO international airport.

Linda Finken

December 14, 2020

I will be traveling to Punta Gorda. I have a walking disability and use a mobility scooter for traveling that folds down. It weighs 44 lbs after the battery is removed. It was told that it is TSA approved. It was suggested to inform the airport of this before travel. Do I need any special paperwork to travel with my scooter?

Jarrod West

December 14, 2020

Hi Linda,

I do not believe that you should need any special paperwork in order to travel with your scooter, but it might be a good idea to give your local airport a phone call to see if they have any specific recommendations for you.

Safe travels!

Michelle Lehman

December 30, 2020

My husband has steel rods in his back is there any required documentation needed for him to board the plane?

Jarrod West

December 31, 2020

Hi Michelle,

No, your husband should not need to bring any special documentation in order to board the plane. Safe travels!

Penny Estrada

March 02, 2021

Hi! Can I bring an empty water bottle?

Christy Rodriguez

March 04, 2021

Hi Penny. Yes, you can bring an empty water bottle through TSA – thanks for reading!

Angela Clickenger

March 24, 2021

What about my purse? It’s been 20 years since I have flown. Is my purse considered my carry on or can I have a traditional carry on as well? Also, do my medications go in my purse or carry on as I may need to take the anxiety meds during the flight?

Jarrod West

March 24, 2021

Hi Angela,

Your purse is considered a personal item, so you’re still able to bring a traditional carry on. You should have no problems keeping your medication in your purse. Safe travels!

Janelle Grager

March 25, 2021

Would I be able to bring my cpap machine?

Jarrod West

March 26, 2021

Hi Janelle,

Yes, you can bring your CPAP machine with you through TSA.

R johnson

May 15, 2021

Is this as a personal? Wanted to know if I can bring it separately from my purse and carry on.

Jarrod West

May 17, 2021

Hi R,

Yes, you can bring a CPAP in your carry-on as well. Either option is fine.


April 16, 2021

Can you pack wine or crown royal in your suitcase as a gift?

Jarrod West

April 19, 2021

Hi Renee,

Yes, you are allowed to bring these items but they must be in your checked luggage.


April 27, 2021

Hi, can I bring period pads through airport security? Do I need to take them out of my bag? I want to be discreet about having them from my father.

Jarrod West

April 27, 2021

Hi Ronan,

Yes, you can bring pads through airport security and it is unlikely that you should have to take them out of your bag. Safe travels!


May 05, 2021

Hi, should passengers tell the officer about how much cryptocurrency they have in their digital wallets when arriving to an international US airport? Or should they just tell them about cash money more than $10,000?

Jarrod West

May 05, 2021

Hi Sonic,

You should only be required to disclose physical cash amounts larger than $10,000. The U.S. designates cryptocurrencies as commodities, not currency, so you should not be required to disclose those holdings.

R Johnson

May 15, 2021

Face mask for travel has a metal piece on the nose part will this be a issue?

Jarrod West

May 17, 2021

Hi R,

Yes, it is likely that would trigger when walking through the metal detectors. I’d advise that you tell security prior to walking through. Using this mask might require them to perform additional screening for you, so if you have another mask, it might be better to opt for that one when walking through security.


May 18, 2021

Hi there,

When flying domestically within the US, do you still have to go through TSA checks when you arrive at your domestic destination? Or you only have to go through TSA when you depart?

Thank you.

Jarrod West

May 18, 2021

Hi Marcus,

You’ll only go through TSA when departing, not when you arrive at your destination. Safe travels!

Karen king

August 14, 2022

I’m concerned about my spray cologne and spray deodorant in my checked luggage???

Christine Krzyszton

August 15, 2022

Hi Karen. You can bring these items in your checked luggage provided they do not exceed 0.5 kg (18 ounces) or 500 ml (17 fluid ounces). The TSA also says that the “(button/nozzle) must be protected by caps or other suitable means to prevent accidental release”. You may also want to put them in a zip-locked bag to avoid any possible leakage damage.


July 22, 2021

What proper form of identification do you need to fly? Do you need a Real ID in order to fly now or can you use a passport?

Jarrod West

July 23, 2021

Hi J,

You can fly domestically with just a Drivers license until May 3, 2023, when all travelers will be required to have a REAL ID. If you’re traveling internationally though you will need a passport. Your passport can also be used in lieu of a Real ID should you so choose. Safe travels!


August 03, 2021

If I bring a 2 oz hand sanitizer in my carry on will I have to take it out to put it in a bin at security?

Jarrod West

August 03, 2021

Hi S,

No, you should not need to take that out of your bag when going through security. Safe travels!

Jan Potzner

August 25, 2021

We are flying internationally. One flight being 8 hours and another 9 hours. Am I allowed to bring some snacks that are packaged (like skittles and MandM’s) with me in my pack pak in a clear ziplock bag?

Jarrod West

August 25, 2021

Hi Jan,

Yes, you should be able to bring snacks in a zip lock bag. Safe travels!

Rita v.

November 20, 2021

I have 3 metal pins in my ankle and walk with a cane. Do I make security aware of this and will this hold me up at security?

Jarrod West

November 22, 2021

Hi Rita,

You can let them know before you pass through the scanner, but it is unlikely that this would hold you up. Safe travels!

Elida Aceves

December 06, 2021

I am flying and only have a copy of my drivers license on my phone. I have lost my actual license. Will I be able to get thru security?

Jarrod West

December 06, 2021

Hi Elida,

I would say it is doubtful. Usually, you need a physical license in order to get through security.

Lilu A.

December 18, 2021

I’m going to travel with alcohol (strong) in my luggage. I’m 18 and in my country you’re allowed to drink alcohol at 18, will this be a problem for me if I bring it in for gifting purposes?

Jarrod West

December 20, 2021

Hi Lilu,

It is illegal for travelers under the age of 21 to import alcohol – even as a gift.


April 15, 2023

Mail it to your destination address with your name as the recipient. Just put it in a shoe box or other non alcohol box and wrap it as a gift.


December 18, 2021

I fractured my lumbar spine and I am walking with hiking sticks. Will I be permitted through with the hiking sticks?

Jarrod West

December 20, 2021

Hi Judy,

Yes, you should be able to bring those though. Safe travels!


December 30, 2021

I have a full-size (6oz.) tube of toothpaste. There is about 2 oz. left in it. Can I pack this in my carry on? Will the TSA accept this? Thanks.

Katie Seemann

December 30, 2021

Hi Scott,
While there’s a small chance you could get away with it, generally, a full-sized toothpaste won’t be allowed through security even if it’s not full. It’s probably a good idea to pick up a travel-sized toothpaste for your flight.

Amy Wakefield

March 08, 2022

I have medications that I have to bring with me on my flight. Does that count as a Ziploc baggie that I can put all my traveling stuff in or it can I put that in a separate bag?

Christine Krzyszton

March 08, 2022

Hi Amy. Liquid medications are exempt from the 3.4 oz. limit. If you have other medications (pills, etc.) you can bring them in a bag and they do not count as your quart baggie that holds your 3.4 oz. or less liquids. Just pull out the medications out separately to show TSA when you go through security.

Amy Wakefield

March 08, 2022

I have multiple sclerosis and I cannot stand for long periods of time. What do I do so that I don’t have to stand in the lines at the airport?

Christine Krzyszton

March 09, 2022

Hi Amy. You could contact the airline you are flying to request wheelchair assistance. You can then be escorted through TSA and taken to your gate. Be sure to make the request at least 48 hours in advance of your flight.


May 06, 2022

Would the scanner at lax see inside my body? Would tampon trigger an alert? What kind of full body scanner do they have currently for terminal 1 at Lax airport? Please let me know.


Jarrod West

May 06, 2022

Hi TK,

Airport scanners are unable to see inside your body, so a tampon would not trigger an alert.


May 25, 2022

Can I take interdental brushes in my carry on bag and will I have to take it out to put it in a bin at security?

Chris Hassan

May 25, 2022

Hey Peter,

Yes, you can bring interdental brushes through TSA security. You shouldn’t need to take them out.


June 29, 2022

I wear a Tensor bandage on one of my knees due to injury, can I wear it trough security? It has metal rods on both sides of the knee.

Jarrod West

June 29, 2022

Hi Peggy,

Yes, you should be fine to wear it through. Just give the agents a heads up before going through the metal detector.


July 02, 2022

I will be carrying film rolls which will be damaged if they go through the scanner. What are the options I have for alternate security checks? Need this info ASAP. Please help.


September 01, 2022

Thanks for all this great information. If I may, I’ll add an extra tip. One time I had my laptop in a bin along with my suitcase and small backpack. I got to the other side of the TSA scanner just in time to see a couple in front of me zipping my laptop into their suitcase. They pretended to “not realize it was mine,” but clearly they knew exactly what they were doing and were making haste to do it. So now, whenever I place anything of value in bins (and I usually put everything in my bags and make the TSA officer ask me to take it out – they rarely do as I’m TSA Precheck) I sent my suitcase through ahead of any bins. That puts just a bit more “space” between the traveler ahead of me and my “easy to steal” items. Also, I stare at the other side of the TSA scanner and never take my eyes off my stuff, even if I’m selected for a pat down.

Jarrod West

December 02, 2022

Hi William,

TSA PreCheck does not come with a photo ID. However, if you apply for Global Entry (which includes TSA PreCheck as well) then you will receive a picture ID card.


February 25, 2023

If I have a clear plastic shoulder bag as my personal item, do I need to remove the contents?

Keri Stooksbury

February 25, 2023

You would only need to remove items that would typically be screened separately, such as your liquids bag or any electronic devices.


May 17, 2023

Random question, we are heading to UK & Ireland…I take delta 8 to sleep at night, is this allowed on flights? If so what are the rules and regulations? Thanks!

Keri Stooksbury

May 17, 2023

Hi Casey, you might want to familiarize yourself with the TSA’s medical marijuana policy. According to our TSA FAQ, “If you’re traveling internationally, you may be better off leaving these products at home unless you’ve thoroughly researched your destination’s laws and know that what you’re bringing is legal.”

Ileana Aponte

July 26, 2023

My husband has a fairly new passport issued 3 years ago, but unfortunately there’s an error in the last name. They changed a letter. Instead of Pagan, they wrote Ragan. Can he still travel to Portugal from Miami if he buys his airline ticket under that last name? Thanks

Jarrod West

July 27, 2023

Hi lleana,

You could definitely run into issues being permitted to travel if the names do not match. I would get that fixed as soon as possible.

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