Remove all electronics larger than your phone
Even though I know the security drill, whenever it’s time to step into a single file line at the airport and place my carry-on belongings in a bin to be scanned, I start to feel apprehensive.
Did I remember to remove the mini bottle of lotion that lives in my purse?
Did I finally pack my 3-1-1 liquids bag too full, and, if so, is the woman behind the X-ray machine going to make me choose between taking my facewash or perfume on board?
Every time I find myself mulling over these scenarios, I trace my discomfort back to the Orlando International Airport. On the way home from a gymnastics meet in Florida when I was 12, one of my teammates had her bag emptied by a Transportation Security Administration officer because there appeared to be a suspicious item on the bottom of it.
In front of what felt like lines bulging with impatient travelers, the man removed my friend’s sweaty leotards, damp swimsuits, and other clothes until he reached the concerning piece of luggage: a handful of her well-earned medals from the competition, which she’d carefully stacked one on top of the other.
The officer quickly returned the awards to her and sent our group on our way, but not before leaving me mortified that such an innocuous item could trigger a search that would put my bras and underwear on display for all to see.
Years later, I know I’m not the only person to harbor anxiety about navigating the security line—though many travelers’ concerns are rooted in more rational things than having their intimates rummaged through, such as the seemingly ever-changing rules about screening electronics and what devices should and should not be placed in their own bins for inspection.
Recent travel screening updates
Just last month the Transportation Security Administration announced that all travelers in the United States now need to remove electronics larger than a cellphone from their luggage for screening. This includes tablets, e-readers, and more.
Previously, passengers were only required to remove laptops. That is until laptops were banned in cabins on flights to and from the United States on select airlines. (That ban has since been lifted.)
This most recent addition to the electronics screening rules is meant to strengthen security by helping officers better examine travelers’ devices and catch potential threats.
It’s a relatively minor change—and an understandable one—but, if you’re like me, such an update may leave you slightly anxious about whether you’ve forgotten to remove any necessary items from your bag before sending it down the conveyor belt to be scanned.
One of the best ways to ease this uncertainty is to ask your travel consultant before your honeymoon about whether any new security regulations have been implemented recently. She can provide you with a complete list of what you need to remove for screening, and any other pertinent information regarding packing and your luggage.
Once you’ve touched base with your consultant, organize your carry-on prior to your honeymoon departure. When doing so, place all electronics larger than your cellphone in an easily accessible pocket so you can more quickly remove them for screening.
Note: These updated security measures do not apply to travelers using TSA Pre Check lanes. Stay tuned for a future blog post about the benefits of the Pre Check program.