Airline Security Guidelines

Since the 9/11 US attacks, airport and airline security have been tightened in the US and around the world. Despite the more stringent rules, going through airport security lines doesn’t have to be stressful. Know what to expect and you will have no problem easing through airport lines.

Check-in Airline Rules

Travelers should be aware of the allowed time frame for check in before a scheduled flight. Some airlines require that passengers check in at least 2 hours before departure for domestic flights and three hours for international flights. Some airlines allow curbside check-in; travelers should check with their airline to see if this option is available at their airport.

Travelers should come with proper documentation. Airlines typically require passport or other government-issued ID from travelers age 18 and above. The traveler will also be asked to show the ID as well as boarding pass at security gates.

Airline Security Guidelines for Carry-on Baggage

Travel Security Administration mandates that you can only carry one carry-on bag on your flight. For most airlines, the carry-on bag should not exceed 45 linear inches and weigh no more than six kilograms. Save yourself the hassles by packing your carry-on bag as light as possible.

What you can pack in your carry-on baggage is also subject to rules. Knowing what you can carry and how to pack them will help shorten your time on security lines.

  • Liquids: Liquids, aerosols, and gels (e.g. toothpaste, shampoo, lotion, perfumes) are permitted. However, each bottle should weigh 3 ounces only or less. Put the bottles in a quart-size, clear zip lock bag. Remove the zip lock bag from your carry-on bag to be x-rayed separately. This will allow security offers to clear the items quickly.
  • Electronic devices: Cellphones, tablets, calculators, laptops, and other electronic devices are allowed.
  • Personal items: Clothes, shoes, and other personal belongings as long as your carry-on baggage does not exceed weight and length restrictions.
  • Sharp objects: Permitted are cigar cutters, shaver, corkscrews, blunt scissors, common lighters, and nail cutters.
  • Explosive devices, sharp objects that can be used as weapons, martial arts weapons, sporting goods, guns and firearms, and tools (e.g. hammer, crowbars) should be packed with your checked bags. For a complete list of prohibited and allowed items for carry-on and checked bags, visit the TSA website at

Security Lines

At the security gates, you will be asked to remove your coats, shoes, keys, loose change, and jewelry for x-ray scanning. You may also be given a pat-down search.

After you have made it through the last security gate, head to the pre-departure lounge. You can now relax and wait for your next flight.





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