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How to be a TSA superstar!

We know you have a lot of questions regarding the dos and don’ts of the TSA checkpoint. So here are a few other tips they have for a smooth travel experience. M...

We know you have a lot of questions regarding the dos and don’ts of the TSA checkpoint. So here are a few other tips they have for a smooth travel experience.

TSA medication

Medication: As far as packing medication, the TSA says it is not necessary to notify an officer about any medication you are traveling with unless it is in liquid form. You can travel with your medication in both carry-on and checked baggage.  Though, they highly recommended you place your medication in your carry-on in the event that you need it immediately.

 

TSA snacks

Parents: For those of you who already have your precious bundles of joy, the TSA says -

  • Snacks such as fruit slices and granola are fine to bring on your flight. Just make sure anything that can be spread, smeared, sprayed, pumped, or poured meet the 3-1-1 liquids rule.
  • The TSA has modified screening procedures for children who are 12 years old and younger. Officers will consult parents or the traveling guardian to relieve any concerns during the screening process. TSA’s standard screening procedures do apply children 13 years and older.
  • Breast pumps are allowed in both your carry on and checked bags. Breast Milk is also allowed in both. However, there are some restrictions if you are bringing it on the plane.

Moms-to-be: If you are pregnant and thinking of taking one last baby-free vacation, the TSA first and foremost suggests that you consult your doctor to make sure it is safe for you to fly. Once you get the all-clear from your doctor, they add –

  • You can ask an officer for help if you need assistance lifting heavy bags.
  • Don’t worry about your baby getting zapped! The TSA screening machines receive a variety of tests to ensure they are safe.

Service Animals: Under the Air Carrier Access Act, a service animal is any animal that is individually trained or able to provide assistance to a person with a disability; or any animal that assists persons with disabilities by providing emotional support. Here are some things you should know, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation -

TSA dog
  • Documentation may be required for psychiatric support animals and emotional support animals.
  • The type of service animal allowed on a flight may be different from one airline to another. You are encouraged to check ahead of time to make sure your service animal is allowed.
  • Currently, airlines are not required to accept snakes, reptiles, ferrets, rodents, sugar gliders, and spiders as service animals.
  • Call the airport ahead of your flight to assure it has a service animal relief areas. (A.K.A an animal bathroom!)
  • An airline is not required to upgrade you to a different class of service to accommodate your animal.
  • Airlines cannot refuse to allow your animal on board because it makes other passengers or flight crew uncomfortable.
  • U.S. airlines traveling to foreign countries are subject to the requirements of that foreign country. Not all countries permit service animals from other foreign countries.

Fashion dos and don’ts: Here is what the TSA suggests you plan for while going through the checkpoint.

  • DO wear slip-on shoes: save yourself the hassle of unbuckling, unzipping or untying
  • DON’T forget your socks: because who wants to walk barefoot on the same floor as millions of other people?
  • DO leave your fancy jewelry on: keep that diamond ring on your finger
  • DON’T go through security with fashion accessories that resemble a weapon: for example, a clutch purse with a brass knuckle handle
TSA coins

Loose Money: One more tip courtesy of the TSA, keep the change. In 2017, more than $869,000 in loose change was left by passengers at checkpoints. For your reference, that is equal to over 10,000 TSA Pre-check memberships, or over 86,000 basic Netflix subscriptions. So, what happens to those shiny coins you may ask? The TSA uses unclaimed money to maintain and improve security operations. To keep from leaving your money behind at the checkpoint, the TSA suggests that you place it in a zip-top plastic bag and store it in your carry-on bag for X-ray screening.

If you are still unsure what items are allowed through a TSA checkpoint, click this link to search your item in question. You can also watch this video to refresh your memory on the liquid rules. Safe travels!