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Airport Security 101: What To Expect

If you’ve never flown before or if it’s been a while since your last flight, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for the process of getting through airport security before your trip. By knowing what to expect and following some helpful hints, you’ll be well on your way to a stress-free experience.

Going Through Airport Security

You will go through security after you’ve checked in for your flight and checked any baggage. You will need to have a TSA approved photo ID and your boarding pass ready when you reach the security checkpoint, so keep these readily on-hand.

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Once you get to the security checkpoint, your ID and boarding pass will be checked. From there, you will proceed to have your carry-on luggage and your person scanned. This will entail placing your carry-on items in small bins and sending them through a conveyor belt; keep in mind that you will need to remove electronics (such as laptops) from your bags before placing them on the belt.

When it’s your turn, you will also need to pass through a metal detector that will require you to remove your shoes, belts, and possibly jewelry. When you enter the detector, you will be instructed to spread your feet apart and place your hands over your head. If any additional screening is necessary, you will be pulled aside and checked by a TSA agent—though this is usually not common.

Once you’re through security, you’re free to pick up your belongings from the other end of the conveyor belt and continue onto your boarding gate.

Helpful Hints To Keep In Mind

Getting through airport security is relatively simple, so long as you follow some basic rules. For starters, be aware of prohibited items, including liquid containers greater than 3.4 ounces as this is against the TSA 3-1-1 rule. These are not allowed on airplanes and you will be asked to discard these if they are packed in your luggage. Keep in mind that you are allowed to bring an empty water bottle through security, which you can fill up afterward.

No weapons or items that could be potentially used as a weapon are allowed through security, either. This includes not just obvious weapons, such as knives and firearms, but items like scissors or box cutters as well.

Perhaps one of the best tips you can follow when it comes to airport security, however, is to allow yourself plenty of time to get through before your flight. Long security lines can cause you to miss your flight, as can be pulled aside for additional security screening. These types of hang-ups don’t happen often, but they can happen—which is why it’s always a good idea to plan accordingly. Arrive at the airport with plenty of time prior to your flight so that you aren’t rushed and don’t have to stress about making it to your gate on time.

For those who don’t have a lot of experience flying, going through airport security can seem like an intimidating process. However, it doesn’t have to be. By knowing what to expect and making sure to pack responsibly for your trip, you can get through security and be on your way to your destination in no time.

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