Airport security has become increasingly strict over the years, making airport travel with your family trickier. Rules and regulations change, and since it’s mandatory for all passengers to be screened at TSA checkpoints, here are few ways you can make that screening process at the airport easier.
Communicate with TSA
- Before your trip, print and fill out a TSA Notification Card. This card is for those with disabilities and medical conditions. You describe your disability or medical device that may affect the screening process.
- TSA exists to help passengers get through the screening process efficiently. If your loved one cannot be separated from you (even by a few feet for “pat-downs” or additional screenings), explain that to a TSA officer, letting him or her know of your loved one’s condition.
- If you’re more comfortable having a someone guide you through the security checkpoint, ask your gate agent, or the nearest TSA officer around, for a Passenger Support Specialist to assist you and your crew.
For specific information regarding your loved one’s condition, contact the TSA Cares helpline. Call 72 hours before traveling.
TSA Cares helpline: 855-787-2227
8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET
9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET
Know the Basics
- 3-1-1 liquids rule: You can carry-on a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint. Each one must weigh 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less, otherwise the items must be checked in your bag. If you’re traveling with medication–liquid or not–in your carry-on bag more than 3.4 ounces, you must remove them from your bag so they can be screened separately from the rest of your belongings. Again, make sure a TSA officer knows that you’re traveling with medication and they will guide you.
- Less is best: Dress concisely. Unless you have TSA Precheck, passengers must remove their shoes, laptops, liquids, belts, light jackets during screening. Those with disabilities or medical conditions aren’t required to removed their shoes, but their shoes may undergo further inspection, which can be done while the traveler is seated. If you can help it, avoid wearing too much jewelry, jackets or coats, or shoes that take time to tie and untie. This will speed the process up.
- Label your medicine: TSA asks that you clearly label your medicine. If your medicine is liquid, pack it next to any associated medication tools (i.e. freezer packs, IV bags, pumps and syringes), and when you arrive at the checkpoint, let a TSA officer know. Here’s an easier way to organize while you’re packing.
- Walking aids: Walkers, crutches, wheelchairs and scooters must be screened. If the item can fit through the x-ray scanner, simply place with your other items being scanned. Other items that cannot go through the scanner will be tested by a TSA officer.
Traveling by air can be stressful and complicated, so use TSA as your resource. Download their handy Travel Checklist from their website.
For additional travel needs:
- Traveling with disabilities, click here.