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When flying with little kids, your arms and bags are often quite full as you head through the airport. To get through the airport security screening process with as little drama as possible, you need to be organized and know where the items are that you will have to pull out of your bags to go on the conveyor. It is not at all pleasant to have to go to secondary screening where you can’t really touch anything while trying to keep young children under control. In fact, it is pretty terrible, so you want to try and get as much right the first time as possible.
Know where things are packed before you get to TSA security
When going through TSA security, you can bring formula, milk, juice, baby food, etc.for your little ones. However, when a liquid is over the 3-ounce maximum, it will require some level of additional screening, so you need to know where those items are to be able to quickly pull them out of your bags and send them through screening.
If you don’t have PreCheck (and you really, really should!), you will have to also take off your shoes, pull out larger electronics, and potentially your toiletry bags when going through the TSA process. Most travelers are pretty used to that routine by now, but I have recently noticed a new TSA trend that I brushed off until I saw it was far from just my own random luck running into this phenomenon.
Take your snacks out for TSA screening
On several of my recent flights, including those through Houston and Denver, I heard the TSA screeners instructing people to remove snacks from their bags for screening. I heard these instructions the most when I was in a non-PreCheck lane in Houston’s Terminal A. Honestly, I mostly ignored it at the time since my snacks were just a few goldfish crackers and granola bars, and I assumed they were just saying this in case you had any snacks that were more liquid based such as yogurt or pudding. I then heard the same instruction again a few weeks later in Denver, though not in my specific PreCheck line.
I’ve heard all sorts of things in TSA lines over the years, so I didn’t think much of this ‘remove your snacks for screening’ request until I saw this article by The Points Guy where it became clear that many others were hearing the very same instructions all across the country.
On Twitter, TSA states there are no new policies in place for screening snacks, but based on my experiences and the online reports of many others, it seems there are at least new procedures in place at many airports to instruct travelers to remove snacks for screening.
My recommendation, especially when you are traveling with a family where snacks are very common, is to try and pack your snacks in a spot where you can easily grab and remove them all at once for security screening if requested. It is much easier to remove one large Ziploc bag where all the snacks contained than it is to hunt in 14 different pockets for snacks scattered across your luggage. Honestly, it is easier when it comes time to pass out the snacks, too.
Have you recently heard instructions to remove your snacks when going through TSA screenings?
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