airline security

I am flying from Chicago to Paris and would like a little "heads up" concerning what I will need to take out of my carry on bags and put in the trays at security. If I know ahead of time, it should save some time and confusion. Which of these things will I need to remove from my bag: iPod, iPhone, iPad in a case with keyboard, small digital camera, Prescription drugs, OTC drugs, charging cords for electronics? I know I will need to put out my 3-1-1 bag of liquids.
Thanks for your advice.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
22158 posts

Brenda, Generally speaking, these are the items you'll have to place in the trays: > 3-1-1 bag (liquids, no larger than 100 ml in each container, place in one zip-lok bag, one per passenger) > Shoes (depends on airport, but most in U.S. seem to follow that rule) > Coats (take off and place in a tray) > Laptop or Netbook (will have to be taken out of the case and placed in it's own tray) > iPad - this seems to vary depending on the mood of the screeners. The rules don't seem to be universally applied. Have a look at this article: Bottom line: if they want the iPad placed in a tray, you'll have to comply (I'd leave it in the carry-on unless they instruct you to remove it). You may have to use two or three trays to get all your kit through the X-Ray (I often need at least three). EVERYTHING will have to come out of your pockets before walking through the metal detector (you might take a large zip-lok bag and place all items in that in your carry-on, so they're easy to retrieve). You may also have to remove a Belt if you're wearing one. Leave your iPod, iPhone, etc. in your carry-on. If they want to look at them, they'll let you know. As you're travelling with an iPhone, I assume you're aware of the risks of data roaming charges, which can be HUGE! Have you determined that your iPhone will even work in Europe? Happy travels!

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
7529 posts

The Ipad may have to be taken out of your bag. TSA has wildly different policies regarding tablets, it varies at each airport. Just to be on the safe side you should probably take it out anyways. In European airports they seem to be more strict about taking tablets and even Kindles out of bags. Everything else is okay to leave in your carry-on.

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

Ipad in the last couple months: In: Pensacola, Hobart, Sydney, Manchester, Las Vegas, Atlanta Out: Pensacola, Heathrow, Schiphol, Salt Lake City, Atlanta Fifty bucks if you can find a pattern.

Posted by Anna
Lawrenceville, Georgia
693 posts

It was suggested to me that I put my name on all my stuff, electronics, camera, by security. They said stuff gets left behind quite often.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8509 posts

The 3-1-1 bag and possibly the iPad will have to come out. It's about 50/50 with my netbook, so I just get it out. None of the other stuff needs to come out.

Posted by Nancy
Costa Mesa, CA, USA
160 posts

Hi Brenda, New trick I just tried an it works great. I put my ipad, kindle, keyboard and router in a clear, handled bag (saved for just this purpose) put all my stuff in that in my carry - on. When I get to security I pull the whole bag out and plop the whole thing in the tray. Made it a lot easier to gather all my stuff once through security and no risk of forgetting items!
Have a great trip!!!

Posted by Rose
922 posts

In my experience, it's different at different airports, and even different at the same airport at different times, and even different at different security checkpoints at different locations at the same airport. I get the sense that the TSA mixes it up to keep people off-guard and avoid obvious patterns that the wrong people could learn to depend on. Sometimes I've had to put the 3-1-1 baggie in a plastic bin, sometimes not. Laptop and iPad always, and empty pockets. In U.S. airports shoes always off (Tip: wear socks!). In European airports shoes can stay on. Again, my experience, at the airports I frequent.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
3054 posts

As far as the carry on bag, I just leave everything in it. If they ask for me to remove my toiletries, I keep them on top in a 1 quart zip lock bag. I'll quickly take them out. (I've seldom been asked for them, however.)
The TSA is usually more interested in my putting a laptop in a tray. They used to be interested in putting shoes in a tray, but I understand some security stops are de-emphasizing shoes.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8970 posts

Medicines ( unless liquid) stay in your bag, no one cares about them really. I always have my little baggie with the liquids right on top of my bag andjust put in the bin beside the carry on, they seem to appreciate seeing it out and clearly , no need to ask .
Shoes , belt, etc. I have never put my camera out.. its just a small sure shot thing. I don't travel with ipad or laptops. Ipod stays in my purse no one asked to see it yet.

Posted by Brenda
Carterville, Illinois, United States
99 posts

I am assuming one is allowed to use an ipod on the plane except when taking off and landing. Is that correct?

Posted by Paul
Tuscaloosa, AL
887 posts

Yes, you may use an iPod when electronics are allowed.

Posted by Brenda
Carterville, Illinois, United States
99 posts

Thanks for the advice. Yes, I have spoken with my phone carrier (Verizon) and have my sim number recorded with them so it will work in France. I have also arranged for the international travel plan to make calls cheaper. They walked me through how to turn off the roaming data and it was still off from when I got the phone. They said it usually comes that way so I just left it off since it doesn't affect US travel and phone use. I will do the update of towers before I leave also. Anything you know about this stuff that the company missed would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by Brenda
Carterville, Illinois, United States
99 posts

Thanks to Nancy for teaching me I need to turn off ALL DATA to really be protected from big charges.

Posted by Lo
1514 posts

After several trips, I don't do anything more than what the signs tell me to do. However... I put my watch and jewelry in my smaller carryon to go through, regardless of the metal content. I don't put them on until I'm on the other side. My husband empties his pockets and takes off his belt and sometimes still sets the scanners off. I've been pulled aside and wanded due to the structure of my bra. On this last trip he was carrying his CPAP. In 4 passes through security, he was only required to open it up once. That was in Atlanta on the way to Amsterdam. There I had to remove my money belt and send it through the scanner. That was totally unexpected and has never happened before. The agent also flipped through the passport and boarding pass I was holding in my hand. One time recently the TSA person pushed my carryon with the 3-1-1 bag in it onto the rollers and it went through the machine before I could get the 3-1-1 out and put it in a tray. Nothing happened on the other side. At SeaTac, an agent said that if it makes a puddle when it's out of its container, it's a liquid. That was in a confrontation with a woman who wanted to carry on a large pump container of body lotion which she insisted was not a liquid. Neither of us has ever been required to remove the iPad or Kindle from our carryons, so far. We always put our phones, turned off, in our carryons along with the camera, charging devices and plug adapters. We both have lots of meds. One of mine is liquid eye drops. I was told by TSA once not to bother pulling those out. I have followed that advice ever since and have never been questioned at any airport anywhere. You are ahead of most people by being aware of what you're going to need to do. Expect that there may be some surprises and you'll do just fine.

Posted by Robert
720 posts

As Ed said, no pattern with certain things. Shoes always off in the US, and usually, but not always, in Europe when I've gone. Tablets never out in the US, but recently in Paris I was mildly scolded for leaving my tablet in my carry-on. So on the next leg, in transfer in the US, I took it out, and the TSA person promptly put it in my bag. Belts always seem to have to come off now.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
13244 posts

It is a bit of a guess. Just come home via Rome yesterday. All they wanted to see was all electronics, phones, GPS, etc. in an oversized clear plastic bag that was handed to us just in front of the security check point. Shoes on, belts, no body scan, just a quick walk through. One of the simpler screening in years.

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
5607 posts

I sometimes get caught because I forget things in my pockets, usually loose change or keys. In Berlin the personal scanner was so sensitive that the aluminum foil on my pill package set it off. Security was tighter there than anywhere else I've been. I use a neck wallet for my passport and always have to take that off. As for leaving stuff behind, just take your time getting all your things collected and put away before you leave the security check. Ignore anyone who is impatient. Last year I saw a woman leave her passport and all her hand luggage behind and head for the gate. I imagine she returned eventually. None of the security people paid any attention, and I only noticed when I saw her abandoned passport. I guess she thought everything would be waiting for her on the plane.

Posted by Paula
Arlington, TX, USA
280 posts

On my recent trip to Croatia via LHR I found they are much more serious about security in the UK and EU. They removed many items from my carry-on bag and sorted those with a battery for more scrutiny..this included my travel alarm clock, camera, etc. I had to take out my I-Pad but did not have to remove my shoes. I did have to remove my plastic 3-1-1 bag and my watch. Plan accordingly as lines can be longer during peak travel times.