What to Expect From Airport Security

What to Expect From Airport Security

If you’ve never gone through airport security, it can be a little bit intimidating. There’s a quick-paced flow and TSA agents yelling the same thing over and over again. We get it, laptops OUTSIDE of our bags.

So, I’m going to walk you through it first so when you show up, you’ll (hopefully) be less intimidated.

Here’s what will happen: you’ll arrive to the airport and either get dropped off or have to park. If you have to park, you’ll probably need to take the shuttle to the terminal (depending on how big the airport is). Follow the signs to find where the shuttle leaves from.

You’ll shuttle to the doors, bags in hand. You’ll walk up to the counter of the airline that you bought tickets from and say “hi, I’m checking in.” The nice agent will walk you through this part of it. But in a nutshell, you’ll give them any bags you need to check (these are the big ones that don’t go on the plane with you). They’ll get you your boarding pass. DO NOT LOSE YOUR BOARDING PASS, IT IS THE ONLY WAY THEY LET YOU ON THE PLANE.

You’ll go from check in, to the security line. While you’re waiting, you’ll want to get out your photo ID as well as your boarding pass. Try to make sure that your pockets are empty. If they aren’t, put whatever was in them into your carry on bag.

Things you can’t take on an airplane:

liquids over 3.4 oz. (water, alcohol, sodas, lotions, face-washes, etc.)

sharp objects (box cutters, scissors > 4 inches, razor-type blades)

Self defense items (pepper spray, mace, etc.)

snow globes

shoe inserts

gel-type candles

Things you can take on an airplane:

Electronics (ipad, computer, ipod, etc.)


Baby needs


a lighter

It’s important to note that you should keep your valuables with you. Don’t put your phone in your checked luggage.Don’t put your wallet in your checked luggage. Don’t put anything you absolutely can’t live without in your checked luggage. On occasion, the airline will misplace your checked bags and you don’t want to risk getting stranded.

When you check a bag, you won’t see it again until your final destination. When you have a carry on bag, it stays with you at all times. Once you’re on the plane, you can put your carry on above you on the shelf provided, or if it is small enough (a backpack) it can go underneath the seat in front of you.

Now that you know all of that, back to the process. One of the TSA agents will call you up to their podium where they will grab your boarding pass and your ID. They’ll scan both of them and check to be sure that everything matches and you are who you say you are. They’ll mark a few things on your boarding pass, and send you along.

You’ll then follow the line towards the conveyer belt. There will be white buckets at the end. Grab a few (depending on how much stuff you have). Your electronics (computer, iPad, etc.) will need their own buckets.

So let’s say I have a backpack carry on, which contains my computer, a book, some clothes, and a deck of cards. I would walk up to the line and grab 3 buckets. One for my computer, one for my backpack, and one for my shoes/jacket. (Yes they make you take that stuff off.)

The whole time this is going on, TSA agents will be yelling at you about what to take off/out and what to keep on you.

From here, you’ll walk towards this huge, round machine. You’ll wait outside until they wave you in. You walk in and there will be two yellow foot prints on the floor. Place your feet in those and put your arms over your head, as is shown. You’ll stand there for a second and the machine will take a full-body picture. It takes about 2 seconds. Then you’ll step out and they’ll tell you to wait. You’ll get cleared and be on your way.

Then, you’ll go back and get your stuff from your buckets and put it on as fast as possible so that other people can get in and out. And that’s it! Easy peezy lemon squeezy. Now just to find your gate…