The Transportation Security Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, establishes air travel laws and regulations. Many of these laws and regulations developed after the September 11, 2001, attacks to provide extra security to air travelers, and have spawned similar air safety laws in other countries. Travelers must adhere to air travel laws and regulations to pass through airport security.
To get through airport security faster, air travel laws and regulations state that travelers should pack carry-on bags in a neat and organized manner. Instead of haphazardly tossing items in a bag, the TSA advises that travelers pack one layer of clothing, place small electronics on top, then add another layer of clothing, and put heavier items on top of that layer. This makes it easier for X-ray machines to see the contents of bags. Don’t pack laptops, video games, portable DVD players and video cameras, as agents scan them individually. Travelers must not pack sharp items such as nail files and pocketknives or pepper spray, as agents will confiscate these items at the check-in area. Neither should they wrap gifts they plan to carry onto the airplane. The TSA advises that travelers unsure about any items should play it safe and leave the items at home.
The TSA has established air travel laws and regulations pertaining to liquids. The 3-1-1 rule for carry-on bags indicates that each traveler may carry on bottles less than 3.4 oz. as long as these containers fit in one quart-sized, clear, plastic, zipper-lock bag. Exceptions to the 3-1-1 rule include items such as medication, baby food and formula, and breast milk. People carrying these items must inform security officers before passing through security.
Air travelers should dress lightly and, if possible, wear sandals or slip-on shoes, as all travelers must to remove their shoes for inspection. Travelers should avoid clothing with pockets, as they must place all contents, including loose change, cell phones and keys, into bowls for screening. Heavy jewelry like earrings, bracelets and rings may set off metal detectors. Agents will ask travelers with body piercings to remove their jewelry for further inspection. Belts, hair ornaments, bra wiring and even metal buttons can set off alarms, so travelers should avoid wearing these items, if possible. Travelers can wear head coverings and religious clothing. However, if these items look large enough to hide prohibited items, security officials may require additional screening.
To make air travel as efficient as possible, people must arrive on time. According to air travel laws and regulations, travelers aren’t permitted to board if they arrive 30 minutes or less before the scheduled departure time. Travelers must have a boarding pass and government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license, to provide to security officers. Parents traveling with babies or small children should remove them from strollers and car seats for faster security clearance. Pets, too, will have to be removed from their carriers. Travelers should watch their behavior and speech, as any actions or words perceived as threats could lead to delays or missed flights. People with pacemakers, surgical pins or other metal items inside their bodies should inform airline security of this, before passing through metal detectors. Bringing a doctor’s notification will alleviate boarding difficulties.
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