How to go through airport security smoothly

How to go through airport security smoothly

Getting through airport security can feel more like an unwanted assault on your personal freedoms rather than a gateway to a fun vacation ahead. The many TSA rules and regulations may be difficult to absorb (especially for infrequent fliers), but we are here to help.

For frequent fliers, the list below will seem obvious. Remember, however, for as much as you fly, there are ten people in front of you who do not. Informing all passengers on what to expect and how best to prepare not only helps them, but helps you.

Airport Security Tip #1: Wear Slip-On Shoes

How to go through airport security smoothly

Airport Security Tip #2: Have ID + Ticket at the Ready

Don’t fumble needlessly around trying to locate your ticket + ID. Have both ready before you enter the initial security line and then for the TSA-agents. No one wants to wait while you search frantically.

Airport Security Tip #3: Remove Everything from Your Pockets

Better yet, prepare ahead of time and have everything stored in your backpack or carry-on before you even get to security. Do not bring your coffee, water bottles, or beverages.

Airport Security Tip #4: Take a Backpack or Travel Bag to Keep You Organized

I cannot stress enough – staying organized is key to keeping your sanity at the airport. Traveling with a laptop? Find a travel bag with a dedicated laptop sleeve for easy access. Same goes for your ID + ticket + travel toiletry kit. Find an easily accessible spot/pocket in your carry-on bag for all of the above. Try the Modern Snap Backpack by EVERLANE.

How to go through airport security smoothly

Airport Security Tip #5: Pack Your Toiletries in a Clear Bag

This is not only a TSA-requirement, but will help you to stay ultra organized. We specifically designed our Pack Simply clear toiletry bag for portability and ease of use. During my most recent flight, my toiletry bag fit seamlessly in my backpack for easy access through security. No leakage, no fumbling, no possibility of dealing with a messy ziplock bag. The Pack Simply toiletry bag is the perfect travel companion.

How to go through airport security smoothly

Airport Security Tip #6: Be Considerate and Conscientious

Above all else – remember that the world does not revolve around you. Be efficient and mindful as you make your way through the many security layers. Don’t hog the bins, don’t take your sweet time taking off your shoes and jacket. And please, don’t try to bud into the front of the line without politely asking those waiting patiently if it is okay to do so. We all are in a rush and likely have the same flight to catch. Do not think you are the only person on a tight time schedule. A dose of patience, conscientiousness, and efficiency will go a long way.

What are we missing? Any other tips on how best to stay sane during airport security?

How to go through airport security smoothly

Mar 1, 2020 • 6 min read

How to go through airport security smoothly

How to get through airport security faster

Mar 1, 2020 • 6 min read

Airport security is the worst. Even with the shrinking amount of space passengers have on board, going through security is almost always the most miserable part of any journey. Aviation journalist John Walton breaks down how to get through the painful process as hassle-free as possible.

How to go through airport security smoothly

I’m continually struck by how airports worldwide all have different standards and procedures. They say it’s to keep the baddies on their toes, but I couldn’t argue against you if you said it’s because they’re just bad at keeping anything consistent. There are also rarely any signs about what needs to come off or be taken out at some airports, making it a real pleasure to be yelled at in the queue because you’re not telepathic.

But beyond just taking out the usual liquids and gels, I’ve developed a set of tricks to speed my way through security. You have two key goals here: getting yourself through the human scanner without setting off the alarm and getting your bag through the X-ray without needing a secondary search.

How to go through airport security smoothly

Figure out if you’re facing a metal detector or body scanner — or both

There are generally two types of primary scanner in use: the older metal detectors that look like a square arch, and the newer body scanners, the ones where you have to raise your arms in the air like some sort of wild west criminal.

Metal detectors work in a pretty self-explanatory way, so obviously you should avoid wearing metal wherever possible. (If, like my dad, you have metal replacement knees, I hereby authorise you to wear shorts through the airport and to gesture expansively at your knee scars when you get to security. You’ll probably be patted down or have the magic wand waved at you instead.)

Body scanners, meanwhile, come in two flavours, but basically work by zapping you with either low-energy X-rays or microwaves and comparing the results to what their programmers think a human should look like and what a human with anything threatening should not.

Initially, these devices sent what were essentially naked negative pictures of you into people sitting in a backroom, which was predictably as much of a privacy and misconduct disaster as you might imagine. Nowadays, the various types of body scanners mostly involve a security staffer having to press a button for either “male” or “female”, and a computer algorithm comparing the shape of your body to a dataset.

If you happen not to present as your assigned birth gender, are non-binary or trans, or just happen not to physically to that person’s view of what “male” or “female” means, be prepared for the machine to throw up errors.

Similarly, the machines don’t seem to have been trained to recognise the shape of larger bodies, so they often alarm on love handles or a belly. There’s usually a sort of mannequin displayed on a screen with a yellow or red blob over areas that the machine hasn’t been able to parse. Note that, in most developed countries, you have the right to ask for any subsequent pat-down screening to be done in private.

How to go through airport security smoothly

Beyond “no metal”, choose your clothing thoughtfully

Metal is bad for metal detectors and body scanners both, so this is perhaps not the time for those jeans with the chunky zipper or, worse, buttons.

Take care with shoes, especially dressier shoes, which can often have a metal support shank hidden inside. You usually won’t know until they set off the alarm at some airport somewhere, but if you do know then perhaps pack them instead of wearing them. And consider something that you can slip on and off easily — whether that’s actual slipons or a part of laced shoes you can tie loosely until you get through security.

Avoid wearing any loose clothing or extra layers through a body scanner, because layers can set the machine off. (This is, of course, counter to the advice to wear loose, comfortable clothing with layers when flying — the trick is to make sure you take most of it off and send it through with your bags at the X-ray machine.) I try to wear a t-shirt maximum through security as a result.

Empty all your pockets, even of things like tissues or a lip balm, and avoid thick or multiple pockets. Cargo pants or shorts can be convenient for travel, but again the extra material can set the body scanners off.

But It’s also helpful to think about how clothing can help, and not just hinder. If you keep things like your wallet and phone in your pockets rather than in a handbag, consider a jacket or hoodie, especially one with zipper or button pockets, to disgorge your things into. This not only keeps them safe, it keeps your actual hand luggage looking more organised and less likely to be flagged for a secondary search.

How to go through airport security smoothly

Make your bag as easy to scan as possible

When your bag is X-rayed, for the most part the images of it are sent to a screen attached to the machine for someone to look at.

What you want is for them to take one look, think “yep, nothing worrisome there” and hit the “OK” button. What you don’t want is for them to have to try to figure out masses of chargers, cables, headphones, and other assorted tangles, give up, and hit the “search it by hand” button.

So, take out all electronics and put them in a tray, only one layer deep. Don’t overcrowd your trays either, or cover one electronic device with another — that goes for not putting your jacket with your phone in its pocket on top of your tablet, for example.

Separate your batteries, chargers and cables into a small pouch as well: a tangle of wires inside your bag is a really good way to get your bag or tray pulled over for secondary inspection. A tangle inside a small packing cube, re-used amenity kit or even a ziplock bag is much less likely to cause concern.

Send your bags through first, so they come out and you can unload the trays straight into them.

One trick I’ve used ever since being distracted enough to have left my laptop at security one time is to point-and-count my trays out loud before putting them through the machine. That way you know how many you need to make sure you pick up on the other side. Don’t forget anything!

  • 12:15, 6 Dec 2021
  • Updated : 13:45, 6 Dec 2021

A TRAVEL expert has shared a tip on how to get through airport security as quickly as possible, without forking out for a premium ticket.

Having already gone through check-in and bag drop, most travellers are desperate to sit down in a bar or browse duty free before they have to board their flight.

Travel expert Nora Dunn has revealed a three-fold hack when it comes to getting through airport security without hanging around too long.

The key to speeding through, she said, is spotting the right queue.

She wrote on Quora: “The magic to clearing airport security is in being in the right line-up.

“Look at the people in line and choose the line with the most business travellers. These people have airport security clearance down to a fine art.

“While you’re standing in line behind them, watch what they do and learn from them. If they’re good, it’s like a dance.”

Nora’s second tip was on which travellers to avoid being in a queue with, and, unsurprisingly, she said it’s best to avoid families with young kids.

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She wrote: “If you don’t see a line-up with business travellers, then at least avoid – at all costs – line-ups with families (especially families with small children).

“They are notoriously, and understandably, slow in sorting their belongings to go through the x-ray machines.”

Her final tip was about the staff working on security.

She said: “Look at the agents and choose the line-up with only one agent at the x-ray machine.

“If there’s more than one person, chances are one of them is a trainee and this line is going to crawl.”

She added: “Once you’ve chosen the right line-up, then it’s important to be on the ball with your liquids easily accessible in a ziploc bag, your laptop and other electronics pulled out, and easy-to-remove shoes and bel.”

Travel experts have revealed that going left at airport security checks could mean you get through faster because most people are right-handed.

Airport staff claim that you’re more likely to be stopped at airport security if you whistle or yawn.

How to go through airport security smoothly

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Overpacking and inappropriate packing are two of the main reasons why people get held at the airport. Being held for extra screening or questioning can be a stressful experience when you’re traveling by plane. These holdups can delay your boarding or worse cause you to miss your flight. To avoid experiencing these situations when you take your flight, you have to know some tips and advice on how to pack properly and perform certain steps that can help you get through airport security smoothly.

Prepare Appropriately Before Going to the Airport

The preparations you do at home can have a significant impact on how smooth your travel experience will be. Making prior research to stay up to date with TSA’s regularly updated regulations and knowing the things that you can or can’t bring into the airport can help save you from the hassle of being questioned or screened again at the airport security.

If possible, fit all your travel essentials within a carry on bag and still meeting the carry on weight limit. Know your airline carrier’s carry on weight limit so that you can organize and sort the stuff that you’ll include in your luggage.

Choose Early Morning or Late Night Flights

These flight schedules can help you avoid major crowds and long lines. Thus, your security check can happen at the time you anticipate it would take. Also, these flight schedules give you faster travel time from our home to the airport as traffic is usually light at these times of the day.

Also, early morning or late night flights can help you save more on parking costs, especially in busy major international airports. The New York tri-state area airports, namely JFK Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty Airport, are 3 of the busiest airports on the east coast. Getting short term parking Newark airport area can be more convenient when you choose to fly early in the morning or late at night. Also, there are airport parking solution provider websites that can help you get your vehicle parked conveniently and give you more time for checking in.

Dress Lightly and Casually

Avoid bringing metallic valuables like jewelry, cell phone, watch and even your belt when you’re still about to pass through security. Instead, keep these valuables inside your carry on. If you haven’t included your valuables inside your luggage, you can put them in the pockets of your jacket.

Also, you’ll still be required to take off your shoes in order to pass through the metal detectors in most airports. Wear slip-on shoes and wear socks for easy shoe removal and keeping your feet look hygienic and neat.

Learn How To Unpack Fast

You should know the TSA regulations regarding liquids and gels and that they should only be 3 Oz or smaller and should fit in a 1-quart bag. To meet these requirements, you need to use TSA-compliant travel bottles and use a clear, transparent bag to hold these travel-sized bottles. Label your bottles for easy recognition of the contents and for easy validation of TSA personnel. Thus, you save time from being questioned and probed by TSA personnel.

Carry-ons don’t escape the process of checking, and to have the backcheck done fast, you can learn how to properly use the packing cubes. A good tip is to pack your luggage items by category for easy inspection and unpacking. Thus, you can further save time if you know how to pack fast before the security check and unpack fast during the security check.

Being aware and prepared for what you can bring and should not bring can make the difference in having a smooth and stress-free journey. TSA security screens are known to be strict, but knowing how to properly handle the screening process and meeting the prescribed guidelines can help you get out of the security check area and onto boarding your plane. Thus, to save you from the potential stress of boarding late or missing your flight, you just have to pack smart.

How to go through airport security smoothly

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How to go through airport security smoothly

Regardless of your airline or itinerary, you will need to go through airport security before you can go to your departure gate. Our tips will help you get ready for the airport security screening process.

Wear as Little Metal as Possible

Wear clothing and shoes without metallic embellishment. 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 resign yourself to a pat-down screening.

Wear Socks and Choose Easily Removable Shoes

You will have to take your shoes off at the security checkpoint and put them into a plastic bin for screening unless you are over age 75. Several thousand humans walk through the metal detectors each day, so you will probably want to protect yourself from germs by wearing socks. Take your time removing and putting on shoes; if you rush to complete this process, you are more likely to leave belongings behind.

How to go through airport security smoothly

Put Liquids and Gels Into a One-Quart Plastic Bag

All liquid and gel items must be in 100 milliliter (3.4 ounces) or smaller containers. Every liquid and gel product you carry into the passenger compartment must meet this requirement and fit into a single, one-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 (see below). Gel-like food items such as peanut butter, jello, and pumpkin pie will be confiscated, so it is best to leave them at home. Natural powders may need extra screening. Consider putting powders into your checked bag unless they are medically necessary.

​Keep Larger Containers of Liquid Medications, Nutrition Drinks and Medical Supplies Separate From Other Liquids and Gels

You can bring prescription liquid medications through security. You can also bring medically-necessary water, juice and other “liquid nutrition” as well as frozen liquids or gels that you will use to cool medical items. Prosthetics and medical items are also permitted. The catch? Everything must be screened in some way. Tell the security screeners what medical and disability-related items you have with you and ask them to screen the items visually if X-rays will harm them. (Important: Never put prescription medications in checked baggage. Hand carry them or mail them ahead.)

Don’t Count on PreCheck

Not all airports have TSA PreCheck lanes open all the time, and not all areas of every airport have PreCheck lanes available. For example, C Pier at Baltimore / Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport does not have a PreCheck lane, and PreCheck lanes at the other three piers are not always open. Even if your ticket is marked “TSA PRE,” you may not be able to find an open PreCheck lane. Always be ready to go through the regular security screening process.

Prepare Laptops and Cameras for Screening

You will be asked to take your laptop out of its case unless it is in a TSA-approved laptop case or you have TSA PreCheck. Pack your camera carefully. If you are carrying undeveloped film, ask your screener to inspect it by hand. X-ray screening will damage undeveloped film, but it will not affect a digital camera’s memory card.

Know What to Do With Your Coat and Shoes

You will need to take off your coat or jacket and place it in a plastic bin at the security screening checkpoint. You will also need to remove your shoes and place them, carry-on items and metal items in bins for X-ray screening. Travelers age 75 and older may keep shoes and light jackets on. Give yourself plenty of time to regroup after the screening process is complete.

Don’t Worry About Head Coverings

You can 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 removal of your head covering. You may ask the screening official to conduct the pat-down and/or head covering removal in a screening area away from public view.

Keep Your ID Handy

Be prepared to show screening officials your identification, whether it be driver’s license or passport, and your boarding pass at any time.

Wear Pet-Friendly Clothing If You Travel With Furry Friends

You will need to take your pet out of its carrier, put the carrier through X-ray screening and hand-carry your pet through the metal detector. If you’re bringing Fido or Fluffy onto your airplane, leave your expensive designer silk shirts at home, just in case the security screening process becomes stressful for your pet.

Remember That Duty-Free Items Must Still Meet Security Requirements

Buying two bottles of rum at the duty-free shop may save you money, but may not save you time if you have to change planes after clearing customs. You will need to put those two bottles into a checked bag, as liquids in containers larger than 100 milliliters (3.4 ounces) cannot be carried into the passenger compartment of your aircraft unless you need them for medical or baby feeding purposes.

Empty Your Pockets

If you forget to empty your pockets, you will have to step back, empty them, place the items on the scanner belt and then go through the scanner again. You may also have to be screened by wand or pat-down. Emptying your pockets before you head to the airport will speed up the screening process.

Be Prepared to Take off Your Belt

If your carefully-chosen belt has too much metal on it, you may be asked to remove it and put it on the scanner belt.

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

Regardless of the hectic atmosphere at the security screening point, take your time and ask all the questions you wish. If you rush through the screening process, you may forget to take one of your personal items with you. Even worse, you could be a theft target, as pickpockets are known to frequent airport security screening areas. Pay attention to your surroundings and keep a hand on your purse or laptop case as you put your shoes and coat back on.

The Bottom Line

The airport security screening process, while annoying and time-consuming, does serve a purpose. TSA officials have confiscated guns, bullets, knives, hand grenades and other items from travelers. Planning ahead for your security screening will help minimize problems and speed up the screening process.

At the airport all travelers have to pass through security before entering the gate area. Come well prepared for security screening to go smoothly.

Security control at the airport

At the security control you must show a valid digital or printed boarding pass.

Empty your pockets of mobile phone, watch, keys and coins before passing through.

Small items can be placed in your carry-on bag or jacket pocket.

You are required to place items such as coat, laptop and plastic bags with liquids on a conveyor belt for X-ray scanning.

You are only allowed to bring a limited amount of liquids placed in individual containers of 100 ml or less through security.

Fast Track

Fast Track is the quickest way to pass through airport security screening, using a separate line that allows passengers to proceed more quickly and smoothly through security control. This will give you more time for relaxing, working or visiting our SAS Lounges or get to the gate quicker.

Included in SAS Business and SAS Plus tickets

Travelers in SAS Business, SAS Plus and EuroBonus Gold and Diamond members can use Fast Track at all airports where the service is available. Fast Track is available during the airport’s opening hours.

Star Alliance Network offers Star Gold Track Security at more than 150 locations globally.

As at standard security controls, you need to show a valid boarding pass.

How to go through airport security smoothly

Upgrade travel class

Pay for an upgrade or place a bid and decide what an upgrade to the next travel class of service is worth to you.

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With an increase in passengers moving through YYC Calgary International Airport, The Calgary Airport Authority and its partners are taking action to enhance the guest experience throughout one of the busiest summers in recent years.

YYC started seeing steady increases in passenger traffic in April and May 2022. In May, 1.3 million passengers passed through the terminal, amounting to approximately 42,000 guests per day. Those numbers are expected to increase in July and August toward 50,000 guests per day as YYC continues to recover to pre-pandemic levels.

“We are preparing to welcome and support guests reconnecting with loved ones and new destinations in a new era of air travel,” said Chris Miles, Vice President of Operations and Infrastructure at The Authority. “The travel experience is different than it was in 2020 and we are doing everything we can to help guests prepare and to take some of the turbulence out of the journey.”

Guests can look forward to features including:

  • YYC Express – a pilot program that allows guests to book a time to go through security screening via a dedicated queue,
  • An online parking reservation system where travelers can save time and money by booking parking prior to arrival,
  • Kids Zones and quiet spaces where families can decompress before their journey,
  • Legendary hospitality and support from YYC’s iconic volunteers and customer care ambassadors, including White Hat Volunteers and Pre-Board Pals,
  • A new landing page for travelers to access all the information they need in a single location – including resources on when to arrive, what to pack and where to eat and shop.

As demand for travel bounces back, a seamless, memorable travel experience relies on all the partners involved in the airport’s ecosystem, including airlines, security screeners, and border agents.

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) regularly shares carry-on packing advice, information for families, seniors and those with special needs, and wait times for queues at security screening to help guests streamline the experience. At YYC, CATSA has also opened an additional screening lane at Pre-Board Screening D that will help move passengers through the security screening process.

“The more prepared travelers are, the easier it is for us to move them through security as quickly as possible,” said Sandra Alvarez, CATSA spokesperson. “We encourage travelers to access CATSA’s “Breeze through security!” mobile app for tips and information that will help make the screening process faster and easier.”

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reminds all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, that they are required to submit their information in ArriveCAN (free as a mobile app or by website), up to 72 hours before entering Canada. This is a mandatory requirement to avoid potential quarantine periods and fines.

“Travelers returning to Canada should be ready to declare all goods purchased abroad and have their receipts readily available,” said Chief Bob Talarico, the Acting Director of the Central Alberta District, Prairie Region for CBSA. “Many people are travelling with pets, and pets need to be declared too in order to avoid delays.”

Leading the way in the recovery of the travel sector, WestJet has been preparing for summer to better serve its guests. The airline has meticulously planned to ensure aircraft are all flying in peak performance, has hired more than 1,000 people across all operational areas including its contact center, and continues to keep guests up-to-date on evolving travel requirements through its Get Travel Ready hub.

“This summer we are restoring our network in Alberta to pre-pandemic levels as we look to welcome back guests to travel,” said Morgan Bell, WestJet Manager of Media & Public Relations. “With many guests returning to the skies for the first time in more than two years, it’s important they give themselves extra time, plan ahead, prepare for the travel experience, remember to perhaps take a little longer, and to have patience for other guests and staff who might be travelling or working for the first time in many months.”

With more than 13 million passengers expected to travel through YYC in 2022 – up from 6.3 million in 2021 – The Authority and its partners play an important role as a gateway to Alberta.

“YYC’s efforts to enhance the visitor journey support our goal of attracting international visitors to Alberta and driving revenue for the province,” said David Goldstein, CEO, Travel Alberta.

How to go through airport security smoothly

Derek Croucher/Getty Images

If you don’t live near a major city with a large airline hub or if you are planning a long-distance international trip, you probably have to make a connection or two in order to get from point A to point B. Booking a flight with a lot of connections often means a cheaper overall fare too, but whenever there’s a connection, there’s also a chance you could miss your flight. However, there are many precautions you can take to avoid a missed connection.

Book a Direct Flight

How to go through airport security smoothly

Guido Mieth/Getty Images

Unlike a non-stop flight, which literally means the plane won’t stop until you reach your final destination, a direct flight makes a stop, but you don’t have to get off the plane. You might not get to your destination as soon as is possible, but at least you won’t have to worry about switching planes.

Don’t Book Flights on Separate Airlines

How to go through airport security smoothly

Some travelers book flights on two separate airlines to get lower fares, but you should resist this temptation. If your first flight is delayed or cancelled, the second airline won’t honor your ticket by offering a refund or putting you on another flight.

Choose the Right Airline Hub

How to go through airport security smoothly

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Some hubs are better than others, so you should consider what airport you will be connecting in when booking your flights. Delays at a busy hub can ruin your whole trip, so if a better alternative is available, you should opt for it. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s statistics, the airports with the most delays include Philadelphia International, Dallas/Fort Worth International,​ Boston Logan International, JFK, George Bush Intercontinental, Denver International, LaGuardia, Chicago O’Hare, Newark-Liberty International, and ​San Francisco International.

Avoid the Last Flight of the Day

How to go through airport security smoothly

Severin Matusek/EyeEm/Getty Images

It takes only one disaster, weather or a mechanical issue, for example-, to cause a flight delay or cancellation. No matter what the cause, if you miss that last flight of the day, you will probably be staying at your location overnight. When making a lot of connections, get an early start and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.

Dublin Airport Security Overview

View Security Queue Times here

  • Security in T1 is now open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Security in T2 opens at 04.00, so people flying from T2 should factor this in.
  • We advise that you allow 2.5 hours before a short-haul flight, and 3.5 hours before a long-haul flight.
  • If checking a bag, verify your airline’s check-in & bag drop desk opening times, and if possible, allow up to one hour of additional time to check-in luggage.
  • You can also view check-in times by airline and by Terminal below.



How to go through airport security smoothly

Here you will find a quick guide to prepare for check-in and Dublin Airport Security.

Hand Baggage

How to go through airport security smoothly

All hand baggage will be subject to x-ray screening when going through security. To ensure you are ready and can pass through security as quickly as possible please check our list of prohibited item and guide on how to prepare liquids.

Customs & Immigration

How to go through airport security smoothly

Here you will find helpful information on Customs & Immigration at Dublin Airport.

Check-in & Security COVID-19 Safety Measures

How to go through airport security smoothly

We have implemented a number of new measures for your safety and protection. Click below to find out more about these measures.

Security FAQ’s

How to go through airport security smoothly

Here you will find FAQs on Dublin Airport Security.

Related Links

How to go through airport security smoothly

Fast Track Security is open, but only for those who already have a confirmed booking. We are temporarily not taking any new bookings. We apologise for this inconvenience.

How to go through airport security smoothly

Find out more about how Dublin Airport can offer additional support and assistance to passengers.

How to go through airport security smoothly

Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport is prepared for the crowds headed out of town as the summer traveling season hits high gear. There are ways to make things go smoother.

Executive Director Jason Terreri said airport traffic is about 90% of what it was in 2019, a record-breaking year. And many people are leaving at the same time of day.

“The first group of flights is our busiest period,” Terreri said. “Roughly 30% of passengers are flying out before seven a.m., meaning we have roughly a thousand going out before six a.m.”

Following the TSA rules, especially about what items can go in a carry-on, is one of the best ways to keep the security lines moving. Transportation Safety Administration Security Director for Upstate New York, Bart Johnson, stood in front of hundreds of non-compliant items plucked out of bags by TSA agents, ranging from snow globes to cans of beer.

“This is three days, about 7 thousand passengers, do the math, that’s about 10% of all bags coming through are being looked at by them unnecessarily,” Johnson said.

How to go through airport security smoothly

One thing that may speed things up in the security line are new state-of-the-art advanced technology scanners installed in Syracuse. Terreri said the computer scanners installed at the airport should help the security line move more quickly.

“It is helping with the screening process where you don’t have to do so many hand searches of bags,” Terreri said. “So it takes the officer, instead of having to pull a bag, go to a table, search it, these machines actually have a lot better insight looking into the bags to see what’s there.”

As for stories of recent flight delays and cancellations across the country, Terreri says it’s not a big problem in Central New York.

“Every airline is dealing with this pilot shortage and some of the equipment issues right now,” Terreri said. “And we are seeing some of that, but not at the extent of other airports.”

Terreri recommends that travelers are inside the airport terminal at least 90 minutes before their scheduled flight.

Advice on going through security

How to go through airport security smoothly

At East Midlands Airport, we make the safety and security of customers and staff our absolute priority

To make your journey as smooth as possible and avoid unnecessary delays, we ask that you pay special attention to our security procedure.

Security rules for hold luggage

For security rules and packing advice for hold luggage (luggage that is checked in), please see our dedicated Luggage page.

Security checks

For the benefit of all passengers’ security, departing passengers may be required to be screened using security (body) scanning equipment at East Midlands Airport.

Our advanced technology scanners are part of a range of security measures, some of which may not be obvious. These include a deliberate element of unpredictability in their deployment. This means you may experience a different process than you did on your last visit to East Midlands Airport.

Scanners are the safe*, quick, and simple to use solution for speeding passengers through security whilst achieving higher levels of security detection than has previously been possible.

Assessment of scan data is conducted using the latest computer algorithms and no personal data is saved.

You may opt out of being screened by security scanner. In this instance, you must either be screened by an alternative method which includes at least an enhanced hand search in private or you will not be permitted to enter the security restricted area, or, if applicable, you will be removed from it. An enhanced hand search in private will take place in a private room or an area away from the main search comb. This may involve the loosening and/or removal of clothing.

*They do not use x-rays.

Hand luggage

It is an offence to carry any of the following items into the aircraft cabin:

• Acid
• Billiard, snooker or pool cues
• Builder’s tools
• Catapults and sling-shots
• Darts
• Explosives
• Gas cartridges, or gas cartridge re-fills
• Hammers, nails or screw-drivers
• Hypodermic syringes (unless supported by medical evidence)
• Knives with blades more than 6cm
• Lighter fuel
• Lighter top-up fuel (passengers are allowed to carry one disposable lighter in a clear re-sealable plastic bag)
• Mercury
• Paint*
• Razor blades
• Scissors – specifically, blades measuring greater than 6cm in length
• Sporting bats
• Toy or replica guns (plastic or metal)
• Umbrellas – unless foldable

*Artists’ acrylic, oil or watercolour paint is permitted as long as the individual container contains no more than 100ml. Normal liquid bag rules then apply, as detailed below.

Hand luggage sizes

We would remind all passengers that each airline has their own policy regarding the amount of hand baggage allowed on their aircraft and we strongly recommend that information regarding this is sought directly from the Airline before travel. The current restrictions on the size of hand baggage taken into the restricted area of the airport remain in place with no bag larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm being permitted.

Your safety is our top priority. ONT’s streamlined airport security measures ensure the safety of our guests and staff while helping you get where you’re going faster than ever.

Security Wait Times At ONT

With multiple TSA security lanes and convenient wait times, your journey at ONT is a smooth experience from curb to gate.

Average Wait Time*

How to go through airport security smoothly

Wait time meter for peak hours

6 – 15 minutes

* Wait times are estimates, subject to change, and may not be indicative of your experience.

Security Checkpoints At ONT

How to go through airport security smoothly

With multiple TSA security lanes and convenient wait times, your journey at ONT is a smooth experience from curb to gate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long will I have to wait in ONT’s security lines?

On average you can breeze through our security checkpoints between 5-20 minutes.

Q: Do the security checkpoints close?

Our checkpoints are open 21 hours a day, from 3:45 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Q: How early should I arrive for my domestic or international flight out of ONT?

TSA recommends arriving at the airport 2 hours before your flight, but passenger flow at ONT averages under an hour.

Q: What are the busiest times at ONT’s security?

This varies by Terminal and day of the week, but mornings from 5am-9am (T4) and evenings from 7pm – 11pm (T2) are fairly busy. It’s always best to check

Q: What can I bring in my carry-on and checked baggage?

Planning ahead and packing appropriately will make it easier for you to get through security. TSA provides a list of acceptable items for both checked and carry-on luggage.

Q: Is there a faster way to get through security?

Yes. TSA offers a PreCheck program that streamlines the security process. You can apply for PreCheck using TSA’s online portal. Please note, TSA may not always have the Pre-Check lane open due to passenger flow or security directives.

Q: What should I expect during the security screening?

To protect travelers and staff, TSA’s national security screening guidelines are followed, including passenger and carry on baggage screening. For more information on the screening process, read TSA’s security screening procedures.

Q: I have a disability/medical condition. What should I expect when I’m at the security checkpoint?

We want every passenger to have a positive experience. To help travelers with disabilities navigate through the Airport, we’ve created several resources. If you have questions about security policies for medical equipment and medications, refer to TSA’s guidelines and exemption policy.

Q: Can I bring tasers, firearms, or similar items with me on the plane in my carry-on bag?

No. For understanding on the proper way to travel with these items please visit:

Learn More About Security at ONT

Learn more about the security and safety resources in operation at the Ontario International Airport.

How to go through airport security smoothly

ONT’s Response To COVID-19

Airports Council International recognized ONT with The Airport Health Accreditation, for providing a safe airport experience for all travelers in line with recommended health measures and helping to reassure the travelling public that precautions are being taken to reduce any risk to their health.

How to go through airport security smoothly

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Security Badging Office – South (SBO SOUTH)

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Security Badging Office – North (SBO NORTH)

Travel Tips

How to go through airport security smoothly

Careful packing can help keep your engagement ring a secret at the airport. (Photo: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images )

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Planning a destination marriage proposal is exciting but tricky. Whether you’re headed to romantic Paris, sunny Hawaii or her hometown in Georgia, wrap up all the loose ends before you depart. Along with booking a place to stay and researching activities, you’ll need to plan your proposal and figure out how to get the ring through airport security. Because when you’ve taken the time to plan such a spectacular proposal, the last thing you need is for your girlfriend to see the engagement ring when airport security pulls it out of your bag.

Items you will need

  • Engagement ring
  • Ring box
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Tape or rubber band
  • Sock or glove
  • Carry-on bag
  • Miscellaneous items

Packing the Ring

Step 1

Nestle the ring into the box it came in. Typically, there’s a small pillow or cushion inside to hold it securely in place. Close the box. Although you might be tempted to leave the ring out of the box so it’s less obtrusive, this can be dangerous. The box will keep the ring safe and secure.

Step 2

Avoid wrapping the box. Airport security can ask you to unwrap any wrapped packages — which would certainly ruin the surprise if your girlfriend is standing nearby.

Step 3

Attach a small note to the box with tape or a rubber band. On the note, write a simple message concerning the contents of the box. For example, you might write, “Engagement ring inside. Please be discreet.” If a security officer happens to see this note during a search, your secret will hopefully remain safe.

Step 4

Slide the box into a clean sock, glove or something similar. Ideally, it will be an item that won’t seem unusual for you to have in your bag. This step just gives you another layer of protection in case your bag is searched and your girlfriend glances at the contents.

Step 5

Tuck the item into the bottom of your carry-on bag. Obviously, you don’t want it to look like you are hiding something. But you’ll want to keep it tucked away in case your girlfriend peeks into the bag.

Step 6

Fill the rest of your carry-on bag with safe items that won’t attract attention, such as a sweater and a few magazines or a book. Although you might be tempted to fill the bag with electronic devices or toiletries, these could prompt a search.

Step 7

Watch your carry-on bag as it goes through the scanner. If the officers stop it and prepare to search, try distracting your girlfriend somehow. Ask her to gather her things or head over to the gift shop for a magazine or snack.

  • The Knot: Marriage Proposals: Destination Proposal Pointers
  • The Heart Bandits: How to Get Engagement Ring Through Airport Security

Krista Sheehan is a registered nurse and professional writer. She works in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and her previous nursing experience includes geriatrics, pulmonary disorders and home health care. Her professional writing works focus mainly on the subjects of physical health, fitness, nutrition and positive lifestyle changes.

There are many safe ways to sneak weed through an airport. I am a former narcotics officer who is famous for giving tips on how to Never Get Busted.

I have also passed over twenty drug tests without abstaining and teach people how to pass a drug test using TestClear products.

I also know how to smuggle small amounts of weed on airplanes.

I will teach you how to trick TSA and other airport police so you can safely carry your stash while flying high.

How to go through airport security smoothly

What is the safest way to fly with weed?

The safest way to sneak weed through an airport is to place a small amount in the crotch area of a female. Small quantities fit perfectly in a tampon tube. This method can be used whether it is “that time of month” or not.

I don’t know any other way to explain how to keep you out of a cage so forgive anything that sounds distasteful.

A NeverGetBusted fan followed one of my tips and this was her experience:

“Okay I’m a girl and I just tried this method when flying to Florida, which worked. I fly out of Philadelphia which is a big airport. I did Sara’s method with the pad.

I put some weed in a dub bag, double bagged it, taped that, and then put it in another bag, and taped it again. I got a big pad, cut a little slit to the middle of the pad, took out some cotton, placed the weed in the middle of the pad under the center portion, put some cotton back on, then taped it.

When going through security I was gonna ask for a pat down rather than the X-ray machines but I ended up only going through a metal detector so I didn’t have to ask. And there ya go, I was safe. And I made it.”

What if I am not a girl?

The second best way to sneak weed through an airport is to hide your stash is the crotch area of a male. Airport security is primarily interested in detecting weapons and bombs. Small amounts of pot are their lowest priority. The metal detectors and X-ray scanners show you are not carrying destructive weapons. Unless you are acting crazy, strip searches are almost never conducted at airports.

How to go through airport security smoothly

What if they use full body scanners?

Many of the new airports have full body scanners but you are allowed to deny the use of these machines. Many people comment that this may open you up to a more thorough search but not usually.

What if there are dogs?

A K-9 alert will only trigger a search of your luggage and pockets but not your crotch. I have not heard of any person being strip searched unless they have already been arrested for another crime.

Can you put weed in your bag while flying?

Small amounts of pot will only be discovered during a weapons or bomb search. Hide your stash in an area that is too small to store a secret weapon. Hiding a joint inside an ink pen works really well because a destructive weapon cannot fit inside the tiny void.

Checked or Carry-on?

It’s better to secret your stash in checked luggage instead of your carry-on. Checked bags are rarely searched and when they are, it’s less extensive than a carry-on.

Other options?

Pot brownies and other marijuana edibles are an excellent choice. Make sure to mix them with random unlaced food or natural alternatives. The best are hard candies which are easy to make. Be careful when you are visiting family. Little kids love to look through your bags.

Vaporizers such as O-pen are great because they are mistaken as nicotine pens. Throw them in with your ink pens and other electronics.

It is never safe to smuggle large amounts of weed through a public airport.

Use these tips to sneak weed through an airport and I believe you will NeverGetBusted.

Please feel free to watch this video for how to sneak weed through an airport below.

Shampoo hiding, and Containers

Yes, thank you for the comments for pointing this out. You can hide it in your liquids. Just make sure you wrap it tight and keep it small or they will make you throw it away. Lots of head shops these days sell storage that looks like other things. Some of these a really great, so look around and see what you can find that will work going through the airport carry-on security.

How to go through airport security smoothly

No one ever wants to be that person—the one in the airport security line who just can’t get it together and then holds everyone up. Maybe your missing hustle is due to a lack of airport experience, nervous energy, or the fact that you simply have too many things on your mind to focus on. Whatever the reason, there’s no need to be the one person fellow travelers huff and puff over.

We tapped flight attendant Tara Stilley (she’s traveled more times thanВ she can count, so she clearly knows what she’s talking about) to spill on the items that slow you down most at the airport.

Keep scrolling to check what not to wear through the security line, along with alternative travel clothing optionsВ as showcased on celebs. Plus, go a bit further to shop perfect pieces for travel.

How to go through airport security smoothly

Victoria Beckham: Backgrid

“Bulky jackets or oversize, loose clothing requires extra screening by TSA when worn through security. Also, fumbling with jackets being carried while trying to place shoes through the scanners and pulling liquids and laptops out definitely holds up the line.” — Tara Stilley

Go for:В A moto/denim jacket or a lightweight trench like Victoria Beckham is showcasing here.

How to go through airport security smoothly

How to go through airport security smoothly

Jasmine Tookes: Backgrid

“Shoes should be easy to take on and off. Boots with tons of laces or straps that require extra attention to take on or off slow things down on both sides of the security line. I usually wear sandals, anything you can slip on or off without requiring the use of both hands. Sometimes passengers qualify for Pre-Check, which allows them to leave their shoes on while going through security. Be careful with these—many high heels have nails in them that can set off the body scanners and will have to be taken off and put through the X-ray scanner, thus slowing down the line.” — Tara Stilley

Go for: Slip-on sneakers or flats—similar to what Jasmine Tookes opted for in this travel look.

How to go through airport security smoothly

How to go through airport security smoothly

Cindy Crawford:В Stephen Crawshaw/Backgrid

“Jewelry is kind of a no-brainer. Every passenger goes through a body scanner that is detecting certain metals, but it’s hard to say what exactly it is they are looking for. Typically, I’ve seen metal bangles (bracelets) pose a problem.” — Tara Stilley

Go for: Gold, silver, or other precious metals—simple jewelry like Cindy Crawford is wearing in this outfit.

How to go through airport security smoothly

How to go through airport security smoothly

Elsa Hosk:В Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

“As for hair accessories, I’ve been told by a couple of co-workers that sometimes bobby pins have set off the scanners. Wouldn’t hurt to just avoid metal hair accessories altogether.” — Tara Stilley

Go for: Non-metalВ extras or no hair accessories at allВ Г la Elsa Hosk with this travel ensemble.

How to go through airport security smoothly

How to go through airport security smoothly

Gigi Hadid:В @LucaSgro/Backgrid

“Luggage is always problematic. Passengers bringing too many bags through security make the lines longer. There is more opportunity to forget about liquids or other things that are supposed to be removed. Also, it helps to stay organized and keep laptops and liquids near the surface and easily accessible. Avoid bringing plastic or paper bags through too. I’ve seen passengers trying to put bags through the X-ray scanners that don’t zip or securely close and having to mess with it to make sure it stays upright and doesn’t fall over and spill out while going through. It also makes it easier to overfill the bags, making it more likely to get knocked over at some point during the security checkpoint process. My advice is to be able to zip it and forget it.” — Tara Stilley

Go for: Just the absolute essentials like Gigi Hadid is toting around here.

Hip Care

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Knee Care

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Recovering after Surgery

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Living with Your New Joint

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Surgery and Other Options

  • Relieving Hip and Knee Pain without Surgery
  • Setting Expectations
  • Outpatient Hip or Knee Replacement
  • PRP Injections
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Joint Replacement and Your Health

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Other Topics

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Airport Security with a Metal Implant: One Thing to Know

If you’ve had a hip or knee replaced, you are probably worried about going through airport security. We’ll show you the one thing to do.

Insulin pumps are designed to withstand common electromagnetic interference, including airport security systems. Taking an insulin pump through airport security is quite common. It is always a good idea to carry the Airport Information Card (located in the front pocket of your user guide) when you are traveling.

Because travel rules are subject to change, it is advisable to check with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) before traveling. International passengers should consult their individual air carriers for international regulations.

You can continue to wear your insulin pump or continuous glucose monitor (CGM) while going through common security systems such as an airport metal detector as it will not harm the device or trigger an alarm. Do not send the devices through the x-ray machine as an alternative

You need to remove your insulin pump and CGM (sensor and transmitter) while going through an airport body scanner. If you do not wish to remove your devices, you may request an alternative pat-down screening process

Notify security screeners that you have diabetes, that you are wearing an insulin pump and are carrying supplies with you

In order to board with syringes and other insulin delivery devices, you must carry an insulin vial with a pharmaceutical label that clearly identifies the medication. Never store insulin in checked luggage, because it may be exposed to extreme (often freezing) temperatures, which can change its effectiveness

Carry your glucagon in its original, pharmaceutically labeled container

Boarding with lancets will be allowed as long as the lancets are capped and they are carried along with a glucose meter with the manufacturer’s name embossed on the meter

Should you encounter difficulty when trying to pass through airport security, ask to speak with the TSA ground security commissioner or the international equivalent

Read about guidelines for equipment interference, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements that devices with radio frequency capabilities should not be used on an aircraft.

Your security journey

Every customer passing through the Airport is required to go through our security processes. All baggage that is carried in the aircraft hold is screened by x-ray machines. Some items are forbidden in hold baggage – a full list is available by downloading the list of restricted items.

When you arrive at the security search area, you will asked to produce your boarding card – this can be an e-boarding on your airline’s app or a paper boarding card.

How to go through airport security smoothly

At the preparation area, you will be asked to remove everything from your pockets and remove your belt. If you are wearing a fleece, jacket, thick sweater or coat you will be asked to remove this and place it in a tray. You may also be asked to remove footwear. All boots must be removed. Some items are forbidden in hand luggage– a full list is available here

Food or powders (excluding liquids, gels or pastes) should be packed into hold baggage where possible. Although these items are permitted in hand luggage, they can obstruct images on the x-ray machine, or may need additional checks: if you need to take these on board please allow extra time at security.

If you are travelling with a baby buggy it will need to be folded and screened through the x-ray machine. Musical instruments are also subject to screening.

All of these items should be placed in a tray, together with your correctly packed liquids and any large electrical items e.g. laptops, tablet devices and e-reading devices. Sharp items or tools may not be taken in hand luggage.

Customers will be asked to pass through a walk-through metal detector or the security scanner. If you have a pacemaker – please let us know before going through any scanning equipment.

If you have a medical condition or a disability please contact us in advance if you have any questions: We have a dedicated Assistance Team who will be happy to help. For further information you can also refer to the CAA’s Medical Awareness Card here.

How to go through airport security smoothly

As part of the security process, you may be subject to other searches which will be performed by a member of the team, either by hand, handheld metal detector or explosive trace detection equipment. Once this is complete you will be able to collect your luggage.

All items of luggage are screened by x-ray, however we do carry out random checks which may include hand searching, explosive trace detection swabbing and testing of certain liquids, gels or pastes.

These processes are carried out in accordance with EU and UK legislation.

Security areas can be very daunting for some of our customers – and we are happy to explain the processes in advance so that you can be best prepared – this is particularly important if you are travelling with young children or those persons that need a little more help or simply more time.

If you are travelling with a guide dog – you should contact your airline in the first instance.

For more information on security and special assistance please visit our dedicated page.

Like most travelers, I hate waiting on airport security lines.

They’re a waste of time. And when you aren’t the most punctual person — me — a long line can be the difference between casually sipping white wine in the airport lounge and sprinting to your gate only to find all the overhead compartments are already filled and you’ll need to check your perfectly packed carry-on suitcase.

In recent years, the US government has provided two ways out of airport security hell, for a fee.

TSA Precheck is US-only

The first, TSA Precheck, allows travelers to go through expedited TSA Precheck-only security lines at US airports. Yes, those are the empty aisles you’ve been eyeing angrily from the back of the queue.

For most domestic flights, you won’t have to take off your shoes, belt, or jackets. You also won’t need to take out your laptops or liquids from your carry-on bag, making the security screening smoother and faster.

But some smaller airports don’t have separate TSA Precheck lines.

TSA Precheck costs $85 and lasts five years. You will need to submit a quick online application on the TSA website, and schedule an appointment at an enrollment center near you. The appointment doesn’t usually take more than 15 minutes, but you will receive a background check and fingerprinting.

Global Entry works for international and domestic flights

The second option is Global Entry, administered by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Global Entry provides expedited customs screenings for “pre-approved, low risk” travelers entering the US after traveling abroad.

When returning from an international trip to a major US airport, you can check in at a designated Global Entry kiosk without filling out paperwork, print a slip, and go through customs faster than the people waiting in processing lines.

A benefit of Global Entry is that when you are approved for Global Entry, you also receive TSA Precheck.

Global Entry, at $100, costs slightly more than Precheck. Similar to TSA Precheck, it lasts five years, and you will need to submit an online application and set up an appointment. The Global Entry appointment is through US Customs and Border Protection. The appointment also lasts 10 to 15 minutes with an interview and fingerprinting.

The longest part of the whole Global Entry process for me was the timing in between scheduling and the actual appointment.

For the enrollment center near me (in downtown Manhattan) there was no availability within two to three weeks of my application date, but it was easy enough to schedule and then reschedule if necessary. Just make sure to get to the office at your appointment time. I almost had to reschedule because I got to the office late.

So which should you get?

The biggest difference between TSA Precheck and Global Entry is that while both expedite your security screenings at domestic airports, only Global Entry expedites your entry back into the US after international flights.

I decided to go with Global Entry, and I would recommend the same for most travelers.

For $15 more, you get both TSA Precheck and Global Entry. If you travel out of the country anytime within the five-year period, it’s probably worth it to shorten your wait time.

On a recent return to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport from Shanghai, China, the regular customs process took an hour. Needless to say, it was the last thing I wanted to do after sitting on a 15-hour flight.

If your home airport doesn’t have Global Entry kiosks or you’re positive you won’t fly internationally enough to justify the extra $15, you can stick to TSA Precheck.

Either way, it’s a good bet to pick one of the two. Airport security lines aren’t getting shorter anytime soon.

How to go through airport security smoothly

How to go through airport security smoothly

Jenny Sweigard, MD, is a board-certified physician involved in patient care, including general medicine and critical care medicine.

If you have sleep apnea treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), you may wonder how to get through airport security when you travel with your CPAP machine. It is important that you use your CPAP every night, even when away on business or vacation.   With a few simple steps getting through security will be a breeze. Discover some helpful tips to travel with CPAP machines.

How to go through airport security smoothly

Travel Tips When Flying

First, do not check your CPAP machine as baggage. It is important that it not become damaged during transit, and the only way to ensure this is to keep it with you as a carry-on bag.

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), medical devices such as CPAP are not counted as one of your carry-on or personal items, so you should not be worried about carrying it with you. It is still an extra bag to carry, so factor this into your plans as you want to be sure you will be able to carry it comfortably. It can be placed in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.

As you pass through the airport security checkpoint, you will likely need to remove the CPAP from its case, and it may be subject to examination, including a swab for explosives or X-ray screening. These are unlikely to harm the device. At some airports, the CPAP is required to be placed in a plastic bin for screening. Often it may remain in the bag and just be placed on the screening belt.

Most security screeners are likely to be familiar with CPAP machines and similar medical devices. However, if you are traveling to a part of the world that may be less familiar with them, you may wish to carry a letter from your healthcare provider briefly explaining its purpose and your medical need. This is generally unnecessary.

Using CPAP While Away From Home

Once you arrive at your destination, you want to ensure that you can comfortably use your CPAP machine. There are a few other things to keep in mind while you are traveling:

  • Extension cord: It may be helpful to bring an extension cord as outlets may not be near the bed, especially in older hotels.
  • Distilled water: It is recommended that you continue to use distilled water in the humidifier, but tap water is safe in most regions. If you are uncertain, err on the side of caution.
  • Power adapters: Modern CPAP machines have an internal voltage converter, but you may still require an outlet adapter if you are traveling abroad.
  • Extra parts: Depending on the length of your trip, you may want to have an extra supply of essential components, including your mask, tubing, and filters. If a last-minute replacement is needed, you may want to have the phone number for your equipment provider.

These travel tips will allow a quick passage through security and a healthy and restful trip wherever your journey takes you. If you have any further questions or concerns, speak with your sleep doctor for additional advice. Don’t leave your CPAP at home. You will want to rest just as well on your trip, and it is possible to travel with your CPAP with ease.

Frequently Asked Questions

When flying with a CPAP machine, you should bring it as a carry-on. Do not check your CPAP machine with your luggage as it may become lost or damaged during transit.

No. You can carry your CPAP machine onto a plane, but it will not count as one of your carry-on or personal items. Medical devices, like a CPAP machine, are allowed to be brought onto planes as an extra item and can be stored in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you.

Before packing your CPAP machine for air travel, you should remove the water if you use a humidifier. It is also a good idea to clean the machine before packing it up.

When traveling with a CPAP machine, it is a good idea to pack backup parts and supplies, including your mask, tubing, and filters. In addition, bring extra batteries, a power adapter, and an extension cord.

If you use a humidifier with your CPAP, you may want to bring distilled water or purchase distilled water after you land. If you bring the water through airport security, they will open and test it for explosives.

You may also want to include a letter from your doctor or a copy of your prescription for the CPAP machine, but in most cases, you won’t need to show it.

Johannesburg airport seated in the heart of Kempton park (Ekurhuleni), Gauteng in South Africa. The JNB short code for the OR Tambo International Airport, have gone through some major changes since it was founded in 1952. Previously known as Jan Smuts Airport, so named after a famous politician at the time. In 1994 it was renamed as Johannesburg International Airport, then in November 2006 it was renamed again after Oliver Tambo, as the former president of the ANC. South Africa is listed as the most popular destination in Africa. The busiest airport is the OR Tambo International Airport.

During the 1980s, many countries refrained from trading with South Africa due to sanctions imposed on them. This was due to South Africa’s stand on “apartheid” which resulted in many countries not flying to SA anymore.Two planes were shot down when flying over Rhodesia (known as Zimbabwe now), which forced them to fly around Africa. It required the construction of a Airbus to handle the distance that needed to be covered. The Boeing 747 was born as a result of this. Then, since 1994 when apartheid were lifted, things changed for the better.Visitors that came to JNB airport recently were pleasantly surprised to see how smoothly things are run at the airport.

The developments since 2010, as preparation for the FIFA World Cup, surely made a great impression on many visitors to the airport. The international terminal, constructed to house the all new Airbus A380, adding to that, the functionality of the upgraded shopping area, the overall neat and pleasing decor off the airport inner areas, not to mention the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link above the terminal, all made their contribution to the smooth running of the newly renovated JNB Airport.

Johannesburg Airport, is the busiest airport in South Africa with nearly 21 million passengers.

To get to Johannesburg Town via taxi it takes about 30 min without traffic and will cost about 30 euro.

Another project that is under way will cost in the region of R8 billion, to include its own international check-in facilities, shops and lounges. By 2025, the airport is expected to reach a capacity for around 30 million passengers per annum. The runways are currently considered to be the longest in the world at 3300 and 4400m respectivelyVisitors to the OR Tambo International Airport will be delighted to know that there are various amenities available within short distance from the airport. Their accommodation needs are covered by places like the Airport Grand Hotel that is a five minute drive away from the airport, offering the business executives easy access to other major centers of Pretoria and Johannesburg.

JNB Airport Information

IATA airport code: JNB

ICAO airport code: FAOR

Opened: 1952, 70 years ago

Owner: Airports Company South Africa

Hub for:

  • Airlink
  • British Airways
  • CemAir
  • FlySafair
  • LIFT Airline
  • Mango
  • South African Airways

Serves: Johannesburg

Location: 20 km (12.4 mi) SW of Johannesburg town

Summary of services and amenities

Johannesburg Airport is a large and modern facility that handles passenger and commercial flights, although for regular travelers there are just two terminals to know about — Terminal A which handles the international flights, and Terminal B which is for domestic flights. Both terminals are split over two floors, and the services and amenities they offer include:

  • Designated smoking areas
  • Food and drinks
  • Shopping
  • Duty free stores
  • Banking and ATMs
  • VAT refund options
  • Public telephones
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Religious prayer facilities
  • Luggage storage
  • Conference center
  • Post office
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Massage services
  • Information kiosks
  • Viewing deck
  • Travel agencies
  • Lost and found
  • Pharmacy
  • Lounges
  • Mobile phone rentals


After your flight has landed and you have cleared passport control and retrieved your luggage, you’ll need to get from the airport to the center of Johannesburg or wherever else you’re staying. There are thankfully a few different transportation options to choose from.

Rental cars: If you would like the independence of having your own car during your time in Johannesburg, several international and domestic rental car companies have kiosks at the airport where you can rent a vehicle for the duration of your stay. The exact price will depend on the size of the car that you require as well as the number of days that you want to rent it..

Taxis: Another good option for getting between the airport and the city center is to use a taxi, which gives you complete privacy as it’s just your group traveling, and your luggage will be secure in the vehicle’s trunk. Expect the journey to take about 40 minutes and to cost roughly 600 ZAR (or about $40) depending on the precise length and time that the trip takes..

Train: The third choice for getting between Johannesburg Airport and destinations in the city and elsewhere is by train, which means a limited amount of storage space for your luggage but with the benefit of being cheaper than renting a car. You’ll have to spend about 170 ZAR (or about $12) for the journey, and takes about 20 minutes to reach the city center..


The airport has two runways, both made from asphalt, with the first being 14,495 feet (or 4,421 meters) in length and the second measuring 11,155 feet (or 3,405 meters).

The worst part about traveling is going through security and nearly having to undress. There are four simple articles of clothing that should never be worn to the airport. Avoiding these items will help you get through security faster and more comfortably.

1. Boots or shoes that are difficult to remove

How to go through airport security smoothly

Some airports will only make you remove your shoes if they are boots, as they might have metal tips or thick soles. We travel wearing crocs or other slip-on shoes to the airport, which are super easy to remove when required going through security.

While you are going through security you might have to take your shoes off and put them in the screening bin before walking through the metal detector although travelers aged 75+ or under 13 can leave their shoes on during screening.

If it is snowing at your departure or arrival airport bring along a plastic bag to carry your boots through security and the flight. Your feet will thank you!

2. Belts

How to go through airport security smoothly

If you are planning on traveling we suggest to wear jeans or pants that do not need a belt. At almost any airport you will have to remove it for screening, so it is better to just not wear it in the first place. What Steven does is he keeps his belt in his carry on until we are done with security and make it to the gate before putting it on. This will save time and bother.

3. Coats or Jackets

How to go through airport security smoothly

Every airport will ask you to remove your jackets to go through security. Since it can get chilly on the plane, we recommend to take a light jacket and keep it in the carry on until you are done with security. If you need to wear a jacket, remove it in line before you get to the x-ray machine. This includes hooded sweatshirts and vests.

4. Large Jewelry

How to go through airport security smoothly

We recommend to not take a lot of jewelry with you through the airport. Not only easy to lose when you have to take it remove it at security, but it can also become uncomfortable during a long flight. Jaz normally takes a pair of earrings for the trip, which she wears after we arrive to our destination. If you do wear jewelry, keep it small to avoid having to remove it through security.

Try avoiding wearing bulky or made of metal jewelry unless you place it in your carry on. You can travel with them but you most likely would need to remove it before going through the metal detector. If you are traveling with fine jewelry or small pieces you can go through airport security without a problem.

You are allowed to keep wearing your Gold and Platinum jewelry through security as they are not magnetic.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much jewelry can I bring on the airplane?

If you are travelling with valuable jewelry, make sure to keep them with you at all times. Never put them in checked baggage as they can get lost. If you feel uncomfortably about showing your jewelry in public, you can always ask the TSA officer to screen you and your valuables in private.

What do you have to take out of your bag at airport security?

If you do not have TSA PreCheck, then you will need to take out of your bag/carry on at airport security your liquids, electronics such as phone, tablets and computers and place them in separate bins before going through security.

Can I Wear a Hat Through Airport Security?

Yes, you can you wear a hat on a plane and when going through TSA security. Hats, even bulky headpieces such as turbans, can be worn when going through the airport security. According to TSA new rules, passengers are now allowed to leave hats and other headpieces on if you choose to unless you do not mind being ask for an additional pat-down or to remove your headpiece in private if they think it is necessary.

What do you have to remove at airport security

Some of the things you will need to remove at airport security are your coat, belt and shoes. So we recommend to wear easily removable shoes and keep your coat or jacket in your carry on.

Can you wear jeans through airport security?

Yes, you can wear jeans through airport security. Before going through security please remove everything in your pockets (keys, coins, wallet, cellphone) and put them into the tray. Even though Jeans might set the alarm off on the scanner it is not a problem.

Insider tip: If you plan on wearing your wedding/engagement rings on your trip, get a fake one you can take with you to places of unknown safety, to prevent theft or minimize loss.

We recently wrote about three airports (DTW, PIT, and TPA) that issue TSA-approved passes that allow individuals without tickets to go through security and visit the airport’s stores and restaurants. Though these passes may have been designed to promote “terminal tourism,” many people are actually using the passes to meet family and friends at the airport gate.

These Airports Let You Meet Your Family and Friends at the Gate

I’m old enough to remember what it was like to go through airport security with my family so we…

But several Lifehacker commenters noted that “gate passes” or “escort passes” are already a thing. If you want to accompany a child, elderly relative, person with special needs, or military service member to or from their airport gate, the airlines are ready to help.

These passes are generally issued by airline, not by airport, so here are six of the biggest airlines in the U.S. and their gate pass policies:

Alaska Airlines

The guardian, and those accompanying them, must obtain an escort pass from the ticket counter in order to escort the child passengers(s) to or from the gate. Up to 2 adults and all children, under the age of 13 years old, accompanying the child passenger(s) are allowed through the security checkpoint. Please arrive at least 90 minutes early to obtain these escort passes.

How to go through airport security smoothly

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  • One or two adults, plus any children under age 13, will be allowed through the security checkpoint.
  • Each non-traveling person must obtain a security pass from the ticket counter in order to be allowed access through the security checkpoint.
  • Due to additional airport security, persons should allow up to two hours to obtain a security pass.

American Airlines

If you want to escort someone through security, visit the ticket counter :

Air carrier authorization forms for escorting people (minors, the elderly, etc.) through security are available at the airport ticket counter.

Delta Air Lines

Individuals who are not ticketed for travel but need to provide assistance to a customer are allowed past security checkpoints. They must check-in at the ticket counter to receive a pass that allows them through security without a ticket.

A parent or designated accompanying adult must take the unaccompanied minor to the departure gate and remain until the flight has left the ground.

A valid ID must be presented and signature captured of the person meeting the child. Delta will not release to anyone other than the person named. A parent or accompanying adult should report to the destination airport two hours before scheduled arrival to obtain a gate pass.

JetBlue Airways

JetBlue’s rules for unaccompanied minors are somewhat convoluted, but the tl;dr is that you can request a gate pass to accompany your minor to/from the gate, with the following caveat:

Since guidelines vary among airports, please check the unaccompanied minor section under the specific airport the unaccompanied minor is traveling from to determine if a gate pass may be issued.

JetBlue’s policies for people escorting adults who require special assistance are much more straightforward:

A companion can provide disability-related assistance for you at a domestic US airport. A gate pass request must be made at the ticket counter for departing flights and noted in the reservation for arriving flights. Just make sure the person assisting goes to the ticket counter to get the gate pass and brings a valid government issued photo ID. Issuance of gate passes is contingent upon security conditions at the time of travel, at different times or locations this accommodation may not be available.

Family members who want to accompany a military service member being deployed to the boarding gate or greet them returning from deployment at the arrival gate may receive passes to enter the secure area of the airport.

Southwest Airlines

  1. An Unaccompanied Minor (children age 5 to 11 traveling alone)
  2. A person with a disability
  3. Young travelers under 18
  4. Family members of arriving and departing U.S. military service members who have been deployed or are being deployed

To get an escort pass, visit a Southwest Airlines Customer Service Agent at a ticket counter.

United Airlines

Flights departing from the U.S.: When you’re checking in at the counter, you can get a gate pass that allows you to go through security and to the gate with your child. When you get to the gate, introduce yourself to the United representative at the desk and tell them that your child will be traveling alone. Then, you can have a seat in the gate area to wait until it’s time to board.

Flights departing from airports outside the U.S.: A uniformed United representative will meet you and your child at the check-in counter. The representative will help your child through security and customs to the gate.

If you are accompanying a military service member, you can request both gate passes and access to the United Club lounge :

We are pleased to invite active duty military members in uniform or with present leave orders or rest and recuperation papers to visit our United Club℠ locations on the same day they are traveling on a United- or United Express ® -operated flight. Please present your military ID, your boarding pass and sponsoring documentation for entry. Access is available to active duty military members and family members with gate passes or traveling on the same flight as the military member and is subject to each location’s capacity and seating availability.

Although I couldn’t find any specific language about getting an escort pass for an adult who needs special assistance, you can always contact United and ask—which I’d advise you do for any situation in which you can’t find clear policies on gate pass availability (if you’d like to meet a service member who’s arriving on a Delta flight, for example).

If you have additional advice on how to get a gate pass, please let us know!

Let Your Older Kids Navigate the Family Through the Airport

Navigating the airport during the holidays (or anytime) with kids might be the worst part of the…

Avoid embarrassing TSA searches at the airport security line.

June 4, 2010— — Nobody enjoys taking off their shoes, removing all metal objects and making their way though airport security. But for some the process can be, well, a little more revealing and sometimes embarrassing.

Ann Lombardi was recently going through the Transportation Security Administration’s checkpoint in Atlanta before catching a flight to Zurich when her carry-on bag started buzzing.

It wasn’t a bomb or a terrorist weapon but a vibrating massager Lombardi was bringing to a friend in Switzerland who had said she — seriously — wanted to massage her sore thigh.

“Naturally I was flagged by TSA,” said Lombardi, an Atlanta-based tour guide with The Trip Chicks. “When the male TSA agent pulled out the unwrapped device, it was in full view of a bunch of travelers, including a man of the cloth.”

“I distinctly remember the scowl on the pastor’s face and his wife glancing away self-consciously in the other direction. Of course several other people in line giggled,” Lombardi added. “Just when I was recovering from total embarrassment and as I sat engrossed in my magazine at the gate area, two young guys next to me jokingly asked: ‘Hey, aren’t you that woman who just got buzzed at security?'”

Travelers pack all sorts of items in their bags from an extra T-shirt to that perfect beach novel. Some of those items however are a bit more private.

Monica Hurtado and her husband Edgar endured a similar embarrassment in October 2001 traveling from their home in Arlington, Texas, to Nueva Vallarta, Mexico, for their honeymoon.

“My bridesmaid decided to pack my luggage for me the night before and filled it with tons of lingerie. Being right after 9/11, when we got to Mexico they dumped out my suitcase on the table,” Hurtado said. “I was mortified when the guy at the airport put a pencil thru one of the straps of my garments on the table and smiled and asked `honeymoon?’ I was truly a blushing bride at that moment.”

“Edgar just about fell over laughing, while I was almost in tears,” said Hurtado, now expecting her first child in two weeks.

Airport Security Wanted to Inspect What?

The TSA said it “respects passengers’ privacy and strives to treat the traveling public with respect and dignity. All passengers have the option to request screening in a private area.”

But while TSA agents are trained to respect travelers’ privacy, some passengers say that’s not always the case.

Jennifer Kellas was once returning to Detroit after a trip to St. John. The TSA agent was going their her bag and for some reason stopped when he found a few condoms.

“He took them out,” Kellas recalled, “and said `Oh, you went to St. John to party, huh? Was it fun?’ It was embarrassing and rude.”

While the embarrassment can be mortifying for the passenger, to airport authorities on high alert for security threats, a vibrating object at an airport can be easily confused with a bomb.

Back in 2004, Mackay airport in Queensland, Australia, was evacuated when a sex toy discarded in a cafe garbage can caused a terrorism alert.

“It was rather disconcerting when the rubbish bin started humming furiously,” the cafe’s manager, Lynne Bryant told media at the time. “We called security.”

The police were about to call the bomb squad when a passenger admitted throwing the object away as he prepared to board his flight.

Of course, not every buzzing item is a sex toy.

Sandy Sandler from Nevada was once going through airport security when there was a buzzing noise.

“It sounded like a vibrator. Everyone was looking at me and smiling `knowingly.’ I was so embarrassed because I knew what everyone thought, but, it was actually my sonic toothbrush,” Sandler said. “I now travel with my toothbrush in two pieces to avoid such mishaps.”

While such searches might create an occasional nuisance for most travelers, Ethan Imboden gets looks weekly from TSA screeners.

Imboden is the founder of Jimmyjane, a San Francisco-based adult toy manufacturer.

“As you might imagine, in the course of my daily life I am often traveling with vibrators. Often more vibrators than one might ever imagine traveling with,” he said.

After frequently bringing his products to various trade shows and to clients, Imboden has gotten to know the TSA agents at his hometown San Francisco International Airport.

“The general population out there can rest assured that I am breaking in the TSA agents around the country with my own travel habits,” he said. “It raises a lot of eyebrows certainly and sometimes I get a chuckle, but they’ve come to know me. The TSA agents have seen pretty much everything and a lot of people travel with these products.”

Tips for Traveling With Adult Toys

For those looking to avoid embarrassment, Imboden and Jimmyjane have some suggestions for travelers.

Packing items you want to keep private in your checked luggage is the simplest way to avoid mishaps in the security line, thought there’s no guarantee that “your beloved companion” won’t disappear from your suitcase, the company warns. Baggage screeners may not know what it is and remove it just to be safe. Their suggestion: travel light, and if you have to use a carry-on, make sure pack small equipment. For those who feel like they must travel with larger accessories, pack them but add a label identifying the items. And remember, the 3-ounce liquids rule also applies to lubricants.

Here are some other tips from Jimmyjane:

Traveling With Sex Toys

So why travel with your sex toys? Imboden said that for some, the products are an integrated part of their sex life so they must also make the journey. For others, who are traveling without their partner, the trip is a chance “to bring along a different sort of companion.”

“Travel is sexy. People really associate it with getting away and with having more time to connect and to connect in different ways,” Imboden said. “When we get our of our habitual patterns and get out of our same environment, we are open to many new things.”

You can also pick up a toy at your final destination. Imboden notes that his products can be purchased from hotel mini bars at W Hotels, the Delano in Miami and the Metropolitan in London. He also said that often concierges will go and purchase such products locally for guests — although if you are OK with making such a request, you probably wouldn’t mind the TSA questioning you about your luggage.

Judy Kuriansky, a clinical psychologist who once had a call-in radio advice show called Love Phones and is the author of “The Complete Idiots Guide to Tantric Sex,” said a lot of companies are now selling sex toys in travel sizes.

“Depending on the nature of the toy, you can say that it is a body massager and you have some sort of back problem but it depends on what the toy looks like,” Kuriansky said.

But ideally, she said, travelers should privately speak to the screener and just tell them what you are carrying.

“I always think that’s the best thing,” she said.

The Houston Airport System wants travelers to be aware of the TSA checkpoint screening procedures at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

How to go through airport security smoothly

TSA Screening

How to go through airport security smoothly

Advanced Imaging Technology

Houston was selected as one of the first airports to introduce a new technology known as “Advanced Imaging Technology” (AIT).

When you arrive at a checkpoint where AIT is in operation, TSA staff will ask you to enter the unit with your feet slightly spread apart and your arms raised overhead. While you are in this specified position, a scan of your image allows TSA staff to better detect threats such as weapons, explosives or other objects, which may be concealed under layers of clothing.

Generally, passengers undergoing screening will have the opportunity to decline AIT screening in favor of physical screening. However, some passengers will be required to undergo AIT screening if their boarding pass indicates that they have been selected for enhanced screening, in accordance with TSA regulations, prior to their arrival at the security checkpoint. This will occur in a very limited number of circumstances. The vast majority of passengers will not be affected.

TSA Enhanced Pat-Downs

TSA began a new security screening technique that is more thorough as an enhanced pat down.

The enhanced pat-down may be performed by TSA agents on a random basis or when someone prefers to have a “pat-down,” rather than being scanned in the AIT or full body scanner.

Either way, if a TSA agent indicates that an enhanced pat-down is required, they will use their hands to check a passenger, rather than using the metal-detecting wand to inspect the passenger from head to toe to check for threats such as weapons, explosives or other objects which may be concealed under layers of clothing. When a TSA agent performs this procedure, they will explain in advance the steps they will take. The traveling public always has the option to ask for a private screening should a person not want to have this measure done in a public place.

TSA offers a “modified pat-down” for children 12-years-old and under who require the additional screening.

For more information, go to

3-1-1 Liquids Rule

You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. This is also known as the 3-1-1 liquids rule.

How to go through airport security smoothly

If you are traveling and need to visit an airport, you can expect polite questions when checking in, going through customs, and boarding a plane. You should always remember to be polite, especially when speaking to customs officials and security officers. Knowing the socially appropriate things to say will help you speed through the check-in and boarding process.

To prepare for your trip to the airport, study vocabulary related to travel and practice these basic English dialogues with a partner. Afterward, take a quiz to test your verbal skills related to airport travel.

Important Questions at Check-In

Expect these questions when checking in at an airport. Before practicing the dialogue below, familiarize yourself with the terminology and phrasing of these questions.

  • Can I have your ticket, please?
  • May I see your passport, please?
  • Would you like a window or an aisle seat?
  • Do you have any baggage?
  • What is your final destination?
  • Would you like to upgrade to business or first class?
  • Do you need any help getting to the gate?

Check-In Practice Dialogue

The following dialogue between a passenger service agent and a passenger is fairly typical of a discussion you might encounter at an airport. Take one of the roles, find a friend of fellow student to take the other role, practice the dialogue, and switch roles.

Service agent: Good morning. Can I have your ticket, please?
Passenger: Here you are.
Service agent: Would you like a window or an aisle seat?
Passenger: An aisle seat, please.
Service agent: Do you have any baggage?
Passenger: Yes, this suitcase and this carry-on bag.
Service agent: Here’s your boarding pass. Have a nice flight.
Passenger: Thank you.

Going through Security

After you’ve checked in, you’ll need to go through airport security. It’s important to follow instructions carefully and understand these requests:

  • Please step through the scanner – Asked when you are passing through metal detectors at the airport.
  • Please step to the side – Asked if a security officer needs to question you further.
  • Please raise your arms to the side – Asked when you are inside a scanner.
  • Empty your pockets, please.
  • Please take off your shoes and belt.
  • Please take any electronic devices out of your bag.

Security Practice Dialogue

Things move quickly at an airport once you reach the security checkpoint. Use this dialogue practice to help you speed through the process.

Security officer: Next!
Passenger: Here’s my ticket.
Security officer: Please step through the scanner.
Passenger: (beep, beep, beep) What’s wrong?
Security officer: Please step to the side.
Passenger: Certainly.
Security officer: Do you have any coins in your pocket?
Passenger: No, but I have some keys.
Security officer: Ah, that’s the problem. Put your keys in this bin and walk through the scanner again.
Passenger: OK.
Security officer: Excellent. No problem. Remember to unload your pockets before you go through security next time.
Passenger: I’ll do that. Thank you.
Security officer: Have a nice day.

Passport Control and Customs

If you take an international flight, you’ll have to pass through passport control and customs. Here are some of the most common questions you can expect:

  • Can I see your passport?
  • Are you a tourist or here on business? – Asked at customs to determine the purpose of your visit.
  • Do you have anything to declare? – Sometimes people need to declare things they have bought in other countries.
  • Have you brought any food into the country? – Some countries do not allow certain foods to be brought into the country.

Passport Control and Customs Dialogues

You may have different experiences at the passport-control and customs sections depending on the laws of the country you are visiting as well as the type of items you are bringing in.

Passport official: Good morning. Can I see your passport?
Passenger: Here you are.
Passport official: Thank you very much. Are you a tourist or here on business?
Passenger: I’m a tourist.
Passport official: That’s fine. Have a pleasant stay.
Passenger: Thank you.

Customs official: Good morning. Do you have anything to declare?
Passenger: I’m not sure. I have two bottles of whiskey. Do I need to declare that?
Customs official: No, you can have up to 2 quarts.
Passenger: Great.
Customs official: Have you brought any food into the country?
Passenger: Just some cheese I bought in France.
Customs official: I’m afraid I’ll have to take that.
Passenger: Why? It’s just some cheese.
Customs official: Unfortunately, you are not allowed to bring cheese into the country. I’m sorry.
Passenger: OK. Here you are.
Customs official: Thank you. Anything else?
Passenger: I bought a T-shirt for my daughter.
Customs official: That’s fine. Have a nice day.
Passenger: You, too.

Air traveler safety is the top priority at Pittsburgh International Airport. The Allegheny County Airport Authority will continue working hard to help make air travel as safe as possible and to provide the best possible customer service along the way.

Travelers will notice many security-related improvements at PIT

  • Unattended vehicles in front of the terminal building are being immediately towed and unattended bags quickly checked by law enforcement officials.
  • Only passengers with boarding passes are allowed past security checkpoints, and prohibited items including pocket knives, guns, ammunition and incorrectly-sized liquids are confiscated at the checkpoints.
  • Travelers will notice a heightened law enforcement presence and more vigorous searches of passengers and bags throughout the airport.
  • Because of the changes, and more security improvements on the horizon, travelers are encouraged to review PIT’s travel tips to know exactly what to expect when coming to the airport.

Security Wait Times

Liquids Rule

You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. Placing these items in the small bag and separating from your carry-on baggage facilitates the screening process. Pack items that are in containers larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in checked baggage.

Any liquid, aerosol, gel, cream or paste that sets off an alarm during screening will require additional screening.

While the rule prohibiting items such as liquids, gels or aerosols in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces is still in place, due to the pandemic TSA is allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags. Travelers must remove the hand sanitizer from their bags before they’re scanned.

Carry-On Bag

3.4 ounces (100ml) or smaller sized containers that fit in 1 quart-sized, resealable bag may go in carry-on and through checkpoint security.

How to go through airport security smoothly

Checked Bag

Containers that are larger than 3.4 ounces (100ml) regardless of amount inside must be in checked baggage (hand sanitizer excepted–see above).

How to go through airport security smoothly

Security Tips

Your Safety & Security

Planning ahead and packing properly can facilitate the screening process and ease your travel experience at the airport. Know what you can pack in your carry-on and checked baggage before arriving at the airport by reviewing the lists below. Even if an item is generally permitted, it may 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. Click the box below to see a complete list of prohibited items for flight.

Transportation Security Administration

Preparing for travel doesn’t have to be stressful. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) offers current travel tips to help keep your experience safe and enjoyable. You are encouraged to keep these travel tips in mind to help facilitate the security screening process during your next trip to the airport.

Step Through, Please: Metal Detector

All public access to an airport is channeled through the terminal, where every person must walk through a metal detector and all items must go through an X-ray machine.

Almost all airport metal detectors are based on pulse induction (PI). Typical PI systems use a coil of wire on one side of the arch as the transmitter and receiver. This technology sends powerful, short bursts (pulses) of current through the coil of wire. Each pulse generates a brief magnetic field. When the pulse ends, the magnetic field reverses polarity and collapses very suddenly, resulting in a sharp electrical spike. This spike lasts a few microseconds (millionths of a second) and causes another current to run through the coil. This subsequent current is called the reflected pulse and lasts only about 30 microseconds. Another pulse is then sent and the process repeats. A typical PI-based metal detector sends about 100 pulses per second, but the number can vary greatly based on the manufacturer and model, ranging from about 25 pulses per second to over 1,000.

If a metal object passes through the metal detector, the pulse creates an opposite magnetic field in the object. When the pulse’s magnetic field collapses, causing the reflected pulse, the magnetic field of the object makes it take longer for the reflected pulse to completely disappear. This process works something like echoes: If you yell in a room with only a few hard surfaces, you probably hear only a very brief echo, or you may not hear one at all. But if you yell into a room with a lot of hard surfaces, the echo lasts longer. In a PI metal detector, the magnetic fields from target objects add their “echo” to the reflected pulse, making it last a fraction longer than it would without them.

A sampling circuit in the metal detector is set to monitor the length of the reflected pulse. By comparing it to the expected length, the circuit can determine if another magnetic field has caused the reflected pulse to take longer to decay. If the decay of the reflected pulse takes more than a few microseconds longer than normal, there is probably a metal object interfering with it.

A demonstration of PI technology

The sampling circuit sends the tiny, weak signals that it monitors to a device call an integrator. The integrator reads the signals from the sampling circuit, amplifying and converting them to direct current (DC).The DC’s voltage is connected to an audio circuit, where it is changed into a tone that the metal detector uses to indicate that a target object has been found. If an item is found, you are asked to remove any metal objects from your person and step through again. If the metal detector continues to indicate the presence of metal, the attendant uses a handheld detector, based on the same PI technology, to isolate the cause.

Many of the newer metal detectors on the market are multi-zone. This means that they have multiple transmit and receive coils, each one at a different height. Basically, it’s like having several metal detectors in a single unit.

In the next section, we’ll discuss what happens to your carry-on items while you’re going through the metal detector.