by Michael J. Shapiro | October 31, 2017
The Transportation Security Administration has imposed stronger security-screening procedures at airports across the country, and is now requiring that all electronics larger than a cell phone be removed from carry-on bags and placed in a bin for X-ray screening. If you haven't yet been asked to remove these items for screening, you soon will be: The policy was tested at 10 airports this summer and has been rolled out to many more airports over the past month. The new procedures will be in place nationwide over the coming weeks and months.
Passengers will need to place electronics in a bin with nothing above or below them, as they have with laptops. The new rules apply only to standard security lanes, and don't affect those in the PreCheck line. As for checkpoint-friendly laptop bags, a TSA spokesperson noted that such bags have never been certified by the TSA and that policy dictates that passengers remove their laptops and place them in the bin as well, regardless of bag type. Cameras will need to be removed, but lenses larger than a cellphone that are not attached to the camera should be able to remain in the bag, according to the spokesperson.
Airports that have instituted the new measures have trained TSA agents to guide passengers through the new procedures and to let them know exactly what needs to be removed from bags.
As for the other screening procedures, passengers will have to continue removing their one-quart bags that contain liquids, gels and aerosols (still in sizes smaller than 100ml/3.4 oz) - and they'll need to place those in a separate bin now.
The TSA is advising all travelers to heed the following, in order to help speed things along:
• Organize carry-on bags so electronics larger than a cell phone can be quickly and easily accessed at the checkpoint.
• Ensure that the bag of liquids, gels and aerosols can be easily accessed and removed as well.
• Refrain from overstuffing carry-on bags, in order to facilitate faster, more effective screening.
• Remember to put all items back in the carry-on bag after screening, and double-check to ensure that no items are left behind.
In terms of what types of items may be carried on, no rules have changed.