travel info

tips for smart travel

Pack Smart to Get Through Security Checkpoints Faster

Pack an organized carry-on bag using layers; this will increase visibility for TSA security officers.

  • First layer — clothes
  • Next layer — electronics
  • Next layer — more clothes
  • Top layer — shoes, boots, sneakers and other heavier items
  • Spread out books and papers within your luggage instead of arranging them in piles.
  • Avoid over-packing your bag.
  • If you're not sure about whether you can bring an item through the checkpoint, put it in your checked bag or leave it at home. See our list of permitted and prohibited items.

Keep TSA Checkpoint Lines Moving

  • Have boarding passes and acceptable identification out for inspection.
  • Avoid wearing bulky coats, sweaters and other items that make it difficult for the security officer to screen you properly.
  • Remove outer coats and jackets for X-ray before proceeding through the metal detectors including suit and sport coats, athletic warm-up jackets and blazers.
  • Avoid wearing shoes or boots with laces or other fasteners that are difficult to take off and put back on.
  • Limit the amount of metal that you wear or carry in your pockets.
  • Delay wearing metal jewelry until you have completed the security screening.
  • Remember to take laptops and other oversized electronics out of carry-on bags or use checkpoint friendly laptop bags.
  • Remember the 3-1-1 rules on liquids, aerosols and gels.
  • Declare exempt liquids like medicines, breast milk and baby formula.
  • Remove loose change, keys and other metal objects from pockets.
  • Leave gifts unwrapped in checked or carry-on bags and don't bring gifts that appear on the Prohibited Items list.
  • Don't discuss terrorism, weapons, explosives, or other threats while going through the security checkpoint.
  • Using words such as "gun," "bomb," etc., will cause security personnel to detain and question you.

Smooth and Safe Travel

  • Check your flight status online in the Flight Status section of
  • Give flight numbers to the person meeting you at your destination — they can check on your flight's progress.
  • Eat a light meal before your trip.
  • Drink plenty of water or juice before and during your flight to prevent dehydration.
  • Wear comfortable, flight friendly clothing and shoes.
  • Have a serious talk with your children about airport security, what to expect at TSA checkpoints and acceptable travel behavior.
  • Leave for the airport early — allow extra time for potential airport traffic, parking delays, luggage check-in and security screening lines.
  • Allow more time at the airport if you are traveling with young children, infants, or persons with disabilities.
  • Travel with valid photo identification and keep it with you at all times.
  • Tag all bags, inside and out, with the ticketed passenger's information.
  • Don't lock your checked baggage unless you use a TSA accepted and recognized lock — unrecognized locks may be broken to gain access to your checked bag if your baggage triggers an alarm.
  • Label your laptop with identifying information to avoid loss or the accidental exchange by another traveler.
  • Carry medicine, cash, jewelry, passports, cameras and other valuables on-board with you.
  • Never leave your luggage unattended or with strangers.
  • Bring games, magazines or books for entertainment.
  • Bring a few snacks, especially if you are traveling with children.

AirTran Airways appreciates your cooperation and patience with these security measures. For more information on air travel security, visit the TSA's website at