Stronger TSA Screening Procedures for Carry-On Items

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Stronger TSA screening procedures for carry-on items are now in full swing for the busy summer travel schedule. This is a result of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) implementing additional screening procedures for carry-on items. Passengers will now be required to place all electronics larger than a cell phone, food items, powders and liquids/gels in a separate bin for a clearer X-ray image.

Per the TSA,

With the summer travel season on the horizon, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced today that it has completed rollout of enhanced screening procedures for carry-on baggage as part of a greater effort to raise the baseline for aviation security. The stronger security measures, which began last summer, require travelers to place all personal electronics larger than a cell phone in bins for X-ray screening in standard lanes.

In addition to screening personal electronic devices separately, including laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles, TSA officers may instruct travelers to separate other items from carry-on bags such as foods, powders, and any materials that can clutter bags and obstruct clear images on the X-ray machine. Travelers are encouraged to organize their carry-on bags and keep them uncluttered to ease the screening process and keep the lines moving.

The enhanced carry-on screening procedures have been phased in over the past several months in standard lanes at airports across the country. Travelers may experience minimal changes to what can be brought through the checkpoint; food and liquid items that comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule, electronics, and books continue to be allowed in carry-on baggage. However, TSA officers may ask travelers to separate dense foods, powders and other items to allow screening officers to obtain a clear X-ray image for security purposes. Items that cannot be identified and resolved at the checkpoint are prohibited from entering the cabin of the aircraft.

It’s important to note these enhanced security measures only apply for passengers clearing regular security. Those who are eligible for TSA Pre-check shouldn’t notice any differences from previous security procedures.

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  1. Just one word of warning for the PreCheck-ers out there. Especially those who fly out of Oakland at the wrong time of the day. (I’m still trying to figure out when exactly). When the PreCheck lane is closed and they wave you through the slow lanes, you WILL be subjected to all of the stringent checks above (meaning ALL electronics and liquids out of your bags). The only thing PreCheck gets you at this point is ability to keep your shoes on. So just beware.

  2. Just to add, my comment pertains to Terminal 1 (non-Southwest flights only) in Oakland. I know Terminal 2 (Southwest only) currently has that 10-minute-or-less PreCheck guarantee from Southwest and you CAN get to Terminal 1 from Terminal 2; but when you have walked ALL the way in on Terminal 1 to find PreCheck is closed, you really don’t want to walk ALL the way out to get to Terminal 2. The last time Terminal 1 Pre-Check closed was on a Friday afternoon – weird that it’s the busiest time to fly.

  3. Was there a legitimate reason TSA decided to change these policies? Is there any evidence to show that these new policies increase security? So after years of being able to leave these things in our bags, all of a sudden they can’t get clear X-ray pictures?

    This is just another attempt by the TSA to stay relevant and pretend they make flying safer. In reality, all this will do is make the screening process more confusing and the security wait times longer.

    Time and time again, the TSA has shown they they are totally incompetent and their ever changing policies and rules don’t do anything to promote safety. It’s mind boggling when you go to the airport and 2 screening lanes are open with lines backed up, yet they have 15 agents standing around glaring and telling people to take liquids out of their bags.

    The TSA should focus their attention on making the screening process more efficient and better, rather than on new policies that have absolutely no point whatsoever.

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