Will New TSA Measures Impact Your Next Vacation?

Essential information for upcoming flights.

By Lisa Cheng

Headed to the airport? The Transit Security Administration (TSA) recently announced that stronger screening measures for carry-on luggage have now been completely rolled out and are in effect at all U.S. commercial airports. (The TSA began phasing in these procedures last summer.) Here’s what you need to know before you pack your bag.

What are the new measures?

Travelers passing through the standard lane are now required to remove personal electronics larger than a cellphone from their carry-on bags. That means e-readers, tablets, handheld game consoles, and laptops should be placed in separate bins during the screening process. Passengers can also expect more checks on powders, food, and other organic materials. These items can resemble explosives under the X-ray machine and block clear images from appearing on screening devices.

Has what I can pack in my carry-on bag changed?

No. Electronics plus liquids, creams, and gels that comply with the 3-1-1 rule can still be brought through security checkpoints.

Will it take more time to go through security?

Due to quicker and more targeted procedures, the amount of time you need at the airport isn’t expected to change despite the increased bag checks and monitoring of additional items. Travelers can keep the process moving by organizing their carry-on bags and keeping them free of clutter.

I have TSA precheck. Do the new security procedures apply to me?

The procedures affect only non-TSA-precheck passengers, although officers reserve the right to subject any person passing through the expedited lanes to the enhanced measures. As always, TSA precheck holders do not need to remove shoes, laptops, belts, or light jackets. For more info and updates on airport security, go to the TSA website.

  • NOTE: Information may have changed since publication. Please confirm key details before planning your trip.
  • Published: July 2018