How not to be “That Guy” at the airport checkpoint


I was recently at the airport for a trip to Mexico which will be featured in next weeks blog and the screening process is continually changing. 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.


Screening Process

Every adult over the age of 18 needs to provide proof of identity and a boarding pass to enter the screening area. This includes a drivers license, passport or other forms of identity. TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States.

Standard screening requires that you remove all items and place them on the X-ray belt for screening. You will need to remove your shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets and put them in the provided airport bins.

TSA recommends that you arrive at least two hours in advance of your flight time.



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.

Medications in pill or other solid form must undergo security screening. It is recommended that medication be clearly labeled to facilitate the screening process. Check with state laws regarding prescription medication labels.


Sandwiches and Snacks

Solid food items (not liquids or gels) can be transported in either your carry-on or checked baggage. This includes sandwiches, candy, crackers and cookies.

All food that you want to carry on to the plane must be checked in the X-ray machine at the TSA security checkpoint. The food you bring through security must be wrapped or inside a container. This means you cannot send something like an unwrapped hamburger through security.


Sharp Objects

You never are permitted to carry on sharp objects such as box cutters, ice picks, knives, meat cleavers or utility knives, but you can pack each of these objects into your checked luggage. You can bring metal, pointed-tip scissors inside your carry-on luggage as long as the blade is shorter than 4 inches. Any sharp objects in checked baggage should be sheathed to reduce the risk 


Baby items

Baby food, formula, breast milk and juice is allowed in reasonable quantities in carry-on bags. Remove these items from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.

You may transport baby carriers and car seats in carry-on or checked bags. For items you wish to carry on, you should check with the airline to ensure that the item will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.


TSA Precheck

Many of my clients are choosing to purchase the 5 year TSA Precheck membership for only 85.00. This speeds up the security process by not having to remove your shoes, belts, laptop, coats and liquids. This saves you a bunch of time and frustration!! I can email you the link if you are interested.