Packing Smart


I found this on my flash drive and I thought this was still valid (even if it was dated 2006)

Pack Smart

Carry-on baggage is a small piece of luggage you take onboard the airplane with you. You are allowed one carry-on in addition to one personal item such as a laptop computer, purse, small backpack, briefcase, or camera case.

  • TSA will screen any “Carry-on” baggage that will fit through the x-ray machine, however, it is up to each individual air carrier as to whether the baggage fits the size restrictions for your flight.  Please check with the air carrier prior to proceeding through the security checkpoints.
  • LABEL your laptop computer.  Tape a business card or other identifying information beneath your laptop to avoid loss or the accidental “exchange” by travelers.

Checked Baggage is luggage you check in at the ticket counter or at curbside.  It will not be accessible during your flight.  Please refrain from locking your checked baggage or use a TSA “Accepted and Recognized” lock.  If your baggage alarms and TSA cannot gain access to your checked bag, an unrecognized lock may (Will) be broken.

DO NOT pack the following items in your checked baggage:

  • Jewelry
  • Cash
  • Laptop computers
  • Electronics
  • Fragile items (no matter how they are protected)

Below are a number of tips for packing your checked baggage that will help to speed your trip and ensure that your checked bag makes the flight with you:

  • Don’t put the film in your checked baggage, as the screening equipment will damage it.
  • Pack shoes, boots, sneakers, and other footwear on top of other contents in your luggage.
  • Avoid over-packing your bag so that the screener will be able to easily reseal your bag if it is opened for inspection.  If possible, spread your contents over several bags.  Check with your airline or travel agent for maximum weight limitations.
  • Avoid packing food and drink items in checked baggage.
  • Don’t stack piles of books or documents on top of each other; spread them out within your baggage.

The following general packing tips apply to both carry-on and checked baggage and will help you to move through the screening process more quickly:

  • Do NOT pack or bring prohibited items to the airport. See permitted and prohibited items. (Link doesn’t work anymore)
  • Put all undeveloped film and cameras with film in your carry-on baggage. If your bag will pass through the X-ray machine more than 5 times ask for a hand inspection to prevent damage.
  • Check ahead of time with your airline or travel agent to determine the airline’s baggage policy, including a number of pieces you can bring and size and weight limitations.
  • Carry-on baggage is limited to one carry-on bag plus one personal item. Personal items include laptops, purses, small backpacks, briefcases, or camera cases. Remember, 1+1.
  • Don’t forget to place identification tags with your name, address and phone number on all of your baggage, including your laptop computer. It is a good idea to place an identification tag inside your baggage as well.
  • Avoid overpacking so that your articles don’t spill out if your bag is opened for inspection.
  • Think carefully about the personal items you place in your carry-on baggage. The screeners may have to open your bag and examine its contents.
  • Consider putting personal belongings in clear plastic bags to reduce the chance that a TSA screener will have to handle them.
  • Wait to wrap your gifts. Be aware that wrapped gifts may need to be opened for inspection. This applies to both carry-on and checked baggage.

Dress the Part

Be aware that any metal detected at the checkpoint must be identified.  If you set off the alarm, you will be required to undergo additional screening, including a hand-wanding and a pat-down inspection that includes the torso.

(Just recently a person was arrested for wearing all of his clothes instead of checking his baggage check it out.)

You can remove metal items at the security checkpoint and place them in the plastic bags offered at several airports or in the bins provided.  The bins will be sent through the X-ray machine.  You can save time by not wearing metal items or by placing them in your carry-on baggage before getting in line.

TSA Shoe Screening Policy

You are not required to remove your shoes before you enter the walk-through metal detector.  (Well, this is not correct, nowadays you are required to according to the TSA. Check out this website.)

However, TSA screeners may encourage you to remove them before entering the metal detector as many types of footwear will require additional screening even if the metal detector DOES NOT alarm.  

Screeners will encourage you to remove the following footwear that is likely to require additional screening:

  • Boots
  • Platform shoes (including platform flip-flops)
  • Footwear with a thick sole or heel (including athletic shoes)
  • Footwear containing metal (including many dress shoes)

Footwear that screeners are less likely to suggest you remove includes:

  • “Beach” flip-flops
  • Thin-soled sandals (without metal)

OTHER TIPS:

  • Avoid wearing clothing, jewelry or other accessories that contain metal when traveling through the security checkpoints:
    • Heavy Jewelry (including pins, necklaces, bracelets, rings, watches, earrings, body piercings, cuff links, lanyard or bolo ties)
    • Clothing with metal buttons, snaps or studs
    • Metal hair Barrett’s or other hair decoration
    • Belt buckles
    • Under-wire bras
  • Hidden items such as body piercings may result in your being directed to additional screening for a pat-down inspection.  If selected for additional screening, you may ask to remove your body piercing in private as an alternative to the pat-down search.
  • Take metal items such as keys, loose change, mobile phones, pagers, and personal data assistants (PDAs) out of your pockets.
  • Place heavy jewelry and other metal items in your carry-on baggage or in plastic bags if they are offered, until you clear security.
  • Pack all your coats and jackets in your baggage when possible.All coats and jackets must go through the X-ray machine for inspection. These include, but are not limited to, trench coats, heavy winter coats, suit jackets, sports coats, and blazers.  If you choose to wear an outer coat or jacket to the checkpoint, you will need to either place it in your carry-on or put it in the bin that is provided for you.

Key Travel Tips

Following these tips will help you reduce your wait time at the security checkpoint.

Before the Airport

  • Do not pack or bring Prohibited Items to the airport. Read the Permitted and Prohibited Items list. (Link doesn’t work anymore)
  • Place valuables such as jewelry, cash and laptop computers in carry-on baggage only.   Tape your business card to the bottom of your laptop.
  • Avoid wearing clothing, jewelry, and accessories that contain metal.  Metal items may set off the alarm on the metal detector.
  • Avoid wearing shoes that contain metal or have thick soles or heels.  Many types of footwear will require additional screening even if the metal detector does not alarm.
  • Put all undeveloped film and cameras with film in your carry-on baggage. Checked baggage screening equipment will damage undeveloped film.
  • Declare firearms & ammunition to your airline and place them in your checked baggage.
  • If you wish to lock your baggage, use a TSA-recognized lock.
  • Do not bring lighters or prohibited matches to the airport.
  • Do not pack wrapped gifts and do not bring wrapped gifts to the checkpoint. Wrap on arrival or ship your gifts prior to your departure.  TSA may have to unwrap packages for security reasons.

At the Airport

Each adult traveler needs to keep available his/her airline boarding pass and government-issued photo ID until exiting the security checkpoint. Due to different airport configurations, at many airports, you will be required to display your boarding pass more than once.

  • Place the following items IN your carry-on baggage or in a plastic bag prior to entering the screening checkpoint:
    • Mobile phones
    • Keys
    • Loose change
    • Money clips
    • PDA’s (personal data assistants)
    • Large amounts of jewelry
    • Metal hair decorations
    • Large belt buckles
  • Take your laptop and video cameras with cassettes OUT of their cases and place them in a bin provided at the checkpoint.
  • Take OFF all outer coats, suit coats, jackets, and blazers.

Be knowledgeable and you will get thru just fine.

 


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