Breezing Through Airport Security with Your Student Group

Feb 24, 2015

Travel Notes

Airport security: one of the most stressful aspects of moving your students through the airport. Share these tips with your group to make clearing the TSA checkpoint on your trip hassle-free:

Know what you Can Bring

It can be difficult to remember exactly what TSA does and doesn’t allow. Generally speaking, any sharp or club like items are not allowed in carry on baggage (but are allowed in checked baggage). The TSA also has a searchable list of what is and isn’t allowed. All carry on liquids must follow the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule. This means “liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less per container; must be in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin.” Anything larger than this found in a carry on, even if the larger container is not full, will need to be thrown away. Medically required liquids are exempt from the 3.4 ounce rule, but should be removed from the carry on bag for screening.

Be Prepared Before Getting in Line

To cut down on what you will need to remember at the checkpoint, place things that need to come out of your pockets and off of your body (like phones, keys, change, jewelry and watches) in your carry on bag before getting in line. Also have your boarding pass and photo ID (if 18 and older) in hand before you approach the checkpoint. A list of acceptable forms of ID can be found on the TSA website. Those under 18 are not required to have an ID, though it can speed up the process if students present a driver’s license or school ID.

Pack Properly

Certain items will need to be removed from your bag at the checkpoint, including large electronics (like a laptop computer or videogame console) and your 3-1-1 compliant liquids bag. Pack these at the top or outside part of your bag, so they can be removed and placed in a bin quickly. If you have a small musical instrument (such as a Flute or Clarinet) inside your bag, pack it towards the top in case it needs to be visually inspected.

Proceeding through the Checkpoint

As it gets to be your turn at the checkpoint, remove the necessary items listed above from your bag, along with your shoes, jacket, and belt. You may want to suggest to students that they wear shoes that can easily slip on and off. Place shoes directly on the belt, and all other items in bins. Note that each large electronic device will need to be in a bin by itself. Then send your bag through first, and your shoes and belt through last. This way, you can place the items back in your bag as they come out, and then find a spot away from the X-ray to put your shoes and belt back on.

We hope all of these tips make clearing airport security a simple process for your group. If you have flown with your group before, share any tips you have on our Facebook and Twitter pages, or in the comments below.

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