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TSA Officials Ask Public to Help Make Summer Travel Safer

May 24, 2004

TSA Officials Ask Public to Help Make Summer Travel Safer
May 24, 2004 – Federal aviation security officials are asking the public to help make summer travel safer. As part of a campaign for the summer travel season, they are asking travelers to make themselves more aware of which items are prohibited on airplanes, and are providing suggestions for getting through security checkpoints quickly.

Travelers are asked to consult the Transportation Security Administration’s Web site to learn what cannot be checked in baggage or carried aboard airplanes. TSA officials predict about 200 million people will fly between the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. By taking a few minutes to review this list, travelers can save themselves and other travelers a lot of time.

Joseph Salter, TSA’s security director at Rhode Island’s T.F. Green Airport and several small, regional airfields in Massachusetts, said people setting off detectors at the checkpoints increase the time that everyone has to wait to get through the screening and to their gates by up to twenty percent. He asks travelers to remove any metal items they have before they get to security checkpoints. "We want to make sure people understand the new system, so their journeys will be less hectic," Salter said.

Salter said officials at the airport have confiscated 19,000 items so far this year. These items include pistols, knives, scissors, martial arts weapons and a mock cell phone with a lighter.

TSA says that following these tips will help you reduce your wait time at the security checkpoint:

Before the Airport

  • Do NOT pack or bring prohibited items to the airport. Visit the website to read the Permitted and Prohibited Items list.
  • Refrain from taking wrapped presents to the airport. TSA is recommending that you either ship wrapped packages ahead of time or wrap on arrival. If the package alarms, TSA will need to unwrap it to investigate the source of the alarm.
  • Avoid wearing shoes, clothing, jewelry, and accessories that contain metal. Metal items may set off the alarm on the metal detector.
  • Put all undeveloped film and cameras with film in your carry-on baggage. Checked baggage screening equipment will damage undeveloped film.
  • Carry-on baggage is limited to one carry-on bag plus one personal item. Personal items include laptops, purses, small backpacks, briefcases, or camera cases. Remember, 1+1.
  • Place identification tags in and on all of your baggage. Don’t forget to label your laptop computer. These are one of the most forgotten items at Screening Checkpoints.

At the Airport

  • Put metal IN your carry-on bag. This includes jewelry, loose change, keys, mobile phones, pagers, and personal data assistants (PDAs).
  • Take OUT your laptop computer. Place it in a bin, separate from its carrying case.
  • Take OFF your outer coat. Place it in a bin. Suit jackets and blazers do not have to be removed, unless requested by the screener.

For more information, visit

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