Air Travel – Passing the Security Test

Posted: March 25th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Traveling by air these days can be a tiresome and complicated endeavor. However, it doesn’t have to be if you know the rules and security measures you will need to go through in advance of your trip.

Being a frequent air traveler myself, I get most frustrated with people ahead of me that don’t know what to do and hold up hundreds of people standing in line while they figure it out or argue with the security officers. I’ll let you in on a little secret, if you don’t follow the rules, you won’t get on your flight, no matter how good of an debater you are or how well you present your case. The TSA has the final word and if you don’t follow it you may end up missing your flight, or in handcuffs!

The best way to breeze through security is to know ahead of time what will be expected of you. Here is a little test to check your knowledge:

1. Can I carry a bottle of water onto the plane?
2. Must I take off my shoes before I go through security? What if I am wearing sandals or flip flops?
3. Can I lock my luggage?
4. If I do not have a photo ID will I still be able to pass through security?
5. Can I take liquids such as hand cream, makeup or cologne through security?

Well, how well did you do? Lets’ see!


1. Yes, you can carry a bottle of water onto the plane. However, you can’t take a bottle of water through security. You must purchase the water once you have passed through security screening.

2. Yes, all shoes, even sandals and flips flops must be taken off and go through the screening machine. To make it easier, wear a slip on shoe that you don’t need to tie.

3. Yes, but use a TSA approved lock or it may be cut off. Here is a link to purchase these type of locks – TSA Approved Locks

4. You may be allowed to enter through security, but must undergo a thorough search. You will be directed to a special area in which all your carry on items will be opened and thoroughly searched. You will also be padded down and checkout completely. These searches may take as long as a half hour before you are permitted to pass through security. Best thing to do is have that picture ID.

5. Yes, but follow the 3-1-1 rule:

3-1-1 Rule
3.4 ounce bottle or less (by volume) ; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3.4 oz. container size is a security measure.

For more complete details on what you need to know, go to the TSA Website and plan ahead. Knowing what to expect will make your trip, and all the other people behind you in line, a better one.

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