Carry-on Baggage Screening

Carry-on Baggage Screening in Standard Lanes
TSA screens approximately 4.9 million carry-on bags for explosives and other dangerous items daily. Here’s what to expect when taking your carry-on bag through security screening next time you fly.

Electronics
You will be asked to remove personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone from your carry-on bag and place them into a bin with nothing placed on or under them for X-ray screening.

Common examples of these devices include laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles.

This does not include items such as hair dryers, electric shavers or electric toothbrushes.

Food
Listen to the instructions of the TSA officer. In most cases, food or snacks such as fruit, health bars, and sandwiches can stay inside your carry-on bag. There are special instructions for liquids, gels, and aerosols, as well as for baby food, breast milk and medically necessary items.

A TSA officer will be available to guide you through the process.

Packing
If you are preparing for your flight, be aware that how and what you pack can impact the screening process. Be sure that you check for prohibited items and remember to follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule.

In addition to screening personal electronic devices separately, including laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles, TSA officers may instruct travelers to separate other items from carry-on bags such as foods, powders, and any materials that can clutter bags and obstruct clear images on the X-ray machine.

We recommend keeping your bag organized to help ease the screening process as it takes time for TSA officers to make sure a jam-packed, cluttered, overstuffed bag is safe.

Checked Baggage Screening

TSA screens approximately 1.4 million checked bags for explosives and other dangerous items daily. Upon check in, your checked baggage will be provided to TSA for security screening. Once the screening process has completed, your airline will transport your checked baggage on your respective flight as well as deliver it to the baggage claim area. The majority of checked baggage is screened without the need for a physical bag search.

Inspection Notices: TSA may inspect your checked baggage during the screening process. If your property is physically inspected, TSA will place a notice of baggage inspection inside your bag. This is to inform you that an officer conducted an inspection of your property.

Claims: If your property is lost or damaged during the screening process, you may file a claim with TSA. If your property is lost or damaged during transport to the plane or baggage claim, please contact your airline. TSA has entered into an agreement to provide Rejjee® with a list of Lost and Unclaimed Property (LUP) items found by TSA, that they will make available through their website in order to facilitate matching of LUP information with claimants. TSA has no position on the validity or effectiveness of any commercial services offered by Rejjee®

Locks: TSA has been provided universal “master” keys under agreements with Safe Skies Luggage Locks and Travel Sentry so that certain branded locks may not have to be cut to inspect baggage. These locks are commercially available, and packaging on the locks should indicate they may be opened by TSA officers. TSA has no position on the validity or effectiveness of these product as a security measure and will be forced to remove these products if necessary during the inspection.

Monitoring: Responsibilities for access control and video monitoring of checked baggage facilities fall to individual airports as part of their security plan. Methods of monitoring vary from airport to airport and may include CCTV.

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 alarms during screening will require additional screening.

Inbound International Flights

You may carry duty free liquids in secure, tamper–evident bags, more than 3.4 oz or 100 ml in your carry-on bag if:

  • The duty free liquids were purchased internationally and you are traveling to the United States with a connecting flight.
  • The liquids are packed in a transparent, secure, tamper-evident bag by the retailer and do not show signs of tampering when presented to TSA for screening.
  • The original receipt for the liquids is present and the purchase was made within 48 hours.

The items inside the secure, tamper-evident bags must be screened and cleared. Any item that alarms or is unable to be screened will not be permitted in your carry-on bag. We recommend packing all liquids, gels, and aerosols that are over 3.4 oz or 100 ml in your checked baggage, even if they are in a secure, tamper-evident bag.

Liquids more than 3.4 oz or 100 ml not in a secure, tamper-evident bag must be packed in checked baggage.