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Traveler Safety and Security Tips


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) handles all of the baggage and passenger screening at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport. TSA is pleased to help passengers prepare to travel through the airport. A passenger who knows how to pack and what to wear is going to help keep the lines moving without delay.



Adult passengers (18 and over) are required to show a valid U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID in order to be allowed to go through the checkpoint and onto their flight. Click here to see a list of acceptable IDs.


Passengers are asked to keep in mind the following advice to help make their trip through the airport as efficient and comfortable as possible.

Pack Smart
  • When possible, do not pack oversized electronics (laptops, full-size video game consoles, DVD players and video cameras that use cassettes) in checked baggage. However, please be advised that these items must be removed from carry-on bags and submitted separately for X-ray screening. Click here for "checkpoint friendly" laptop bag procedures. Small electronics, such as iPods, can remain in carry-on baggage.
  • Prepare a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag of liquids before arriving at the airport. For more information on liquid rules: 3-1-1 for carry-ons, click here.
  • Pack all coats and jackets in your checked baggage when possible. All coats and jackets must go through the X-ray machine for inspection.
  • Do not wrap gifts. If a Security Officer needs to inspect a package, they may have to unwrap the gift. Passengers should refrain from wrapping gifts until arriving at their final destination.
  • Film. Undeveloped film should go in carry-on bags. Passengers will be able to declare film that is faster than 800-speed to a Transportation Security Officer for physical inspection to avoid being X-rayed.
  • When in doubt, leave it out. Unsure if an item is prohibited or not?  Travelers should place such items in their checked baggage or leave the item at home. Click here to see the list of prohibited items.
Dress the Part

Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) have to resolve any anomaly detected at the checkpoint. If travelers alarm when passing through a metal detector or advanced image technology unit, additional screening will be required.

Advance Imaging Technology (AIT).  Before passing through this technology, TSA strongly recommends removing ALL items from pockets, as well as certain accessories, including wallet, belt, bulky jewelry, money, keys, and cell phone. Removing all of these items will reduce  the chance of needing additional screening after exiting the machine. The Officer viewing the image cannot see the passenger, so any irregularity that appears on the screen will require inspection to determine what it is.

For more information on this technology, click here.

Body Piercings. Certain metal body piercings may cause the machines to alarm, which will result in additional screening. If additional screening is required, passengers may be asked to remove their body piercing in private as an alternative to the pat-down search.

Head Coverings. Travelers are permitted to wear head coverings and religious garments during the screening process. They may be directed to additional screening if the headwear or clothing (religious or otherwise) is loose fitting or large enough to hide prohibited items. For more information, click here.

Shoes. Please remove shoes before entering the screening technology and put them directly on the belt to go through the X-ray machine instead of in a bin with other items. It is safe, easy, and gives Officers a better look.

Passengers with disabilities, medical conditions or a prosthetic device that prevents them from removing their shoes, should notify a Security Officer. These passengers will be given additional screening that includes a visual and physical inspection.

Why are shoes screened? TSA instituted mandatory shoe screening as an additional security measure when the threat level for the aviation sector was raised on August 10, 2006. Screening shoes by X-ray is an effective method of identifying any type of anomalies, including explosives. Screening shoes increases security at the checkpoint.

Have the Following Ready

Passengers should present the following documents to a Transportation Security Officer at the checkpoint:
  • Boarding pass
  • Identification (click here to see a list of acceptable IDs)
Passengers without identification (lost, stolen, etc.), will be required to provide the Document Checking Officer with some information to help verify their identity. Please allow additional time since this slows down the screening process and will result in additional screening. (Children are not required to show identification).

Hassle-Free Security Tips
  • Arrive on time. Arrival time recommendations vary by airline and day of travel, so check with the air carrier. Remember to leave adequate time to check baggage and move through security.
  • Wear slip-on shoes. This allows travelers to remove and replace their shoes quickly without the need to sit down.
  • Pets. Please remove all animals from their carrying cases and send the case through the X-ray machine. Hold your pet in your arms and proceed through the metal detector.
  • Children. Please take infants and children out of baby carriers and strollers and take them through the metal detector. Strollers and baby carriers go through the X-ray machine with your bags. If possible, collapse the stroller before arriving at the metal detector. For more information on traveling with children, click here
  • Think before you speak. Belligerent behavior, inappropriate jokes and threats will not be tolerated. They will result in delays and possibly missing flight departures. Local law enforcement may be called as necessary.

TSA does not prohibit the public, passengers or press from photographing, videotaping or filming at security checkpoints, as long as the screening process is not interfered with or slowed down. We do ask you to not film or take pictures of the monitors. While the TSA does not prohibit photographs at screening locations, local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances might.

Taking photographs may also prompt airport police or a TSA official to ask what your purpose is. It is recommended that you contact the TSA Contact Center to contact the Customer Support Manager at the airport to determine its specific policy. Or, if you are a member of the press, you should contact the TSA Office of Public Affairs.


Liquids, aerosols and gels, in limited quantities, are safe to bring aboard an aircraft. Each traveler is allowed one bag in order to limit the total volume of liquids, aerosols and gels. Consolidating products into one bag and X-raying them separately from the carry-on bag enables Security Officers to quickly clear all items.

3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3.4 ounce (100ml) container size is a security measure.

Be prepared. Each time TSA searches a carry-on, it slows down the line. Practicing 3-1-1 will ensure a faster and easier checkpoint experience.

3-1-1 is for short trips. If in doubt, put your liquids in checked baggage.

Declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint. Officers may need to open these items to conduct additional screening.


If a passenger cannot or chooses not to be screened by imaging technology or a walk-through metal detector, the passenger will be screened using a thorough pat-down procedure instead. A pat-down procedure also is used to resolve any alarms of a metal detector or anomalies identified by imaging technology.

If a pat-down is required in order to complete screening:
  • The pat-down should be conducted by an Officer of the same gender. Sometimes, passengers must wait for an Officer of the same gender to become available.
  • The passenger can request a private screening at any time and a private screening should be offered when the officer must pat-down sensitive areas. During a private screening, another TSA employee will also be present and the passenger may be accompanied by a companion of his or her choosing.
  • A passenger may ask for a chair if he or she needs to sit down.
  • A passenger should inform an Officer before the pat-down begins of any difficulty raising his or her arms, remaining in the position required for a pat-down, or any areas of the body that are painful when touched.
  • A passenger should not be asked to remove or lift any article of clothing to reveal a sensitive body area.
In addition to the pat-down, TSA may use technology to test for traces of explosive material. If explosive material is detected, the passenger will have to undergo additional screening.

Frequently Asked Questions

What triggers a pat-down?
Pat-downs are used to resolve alarms at the checkpoint, including those triggered by metal detectors and AIT units. Pat-downs are also used when a person opts out of AIT screening in order to detect potentially dangerous and prohibited items. Because pat-downs are specifically used to resolve alarms and prevent dangerous items from going on a plane, the vast majority of passengers will not receive a pat-down at the checkpoint.

What can I do to prevent an alarm at the security checkpoint?
The majority of pat-downs occur when a passenger alarms either the metal detector or the AIT unit. To reduce this circumstance, the most important thing you can do is take everything out of your pockets before you go through screening. Also, when traveling, avoid wearing clothes with a high metal content, and put heavy jewelry on after you go through security.

What do I do during a pat-down?
All passengers have important rights during a pat-down. You have the right to request the pat-down be conducted in a private room and you have the right to have the pat-down witnessed by a person of your choice. All pat-downs are only conducted by same-gender Officers. The Officer will explain the pat-down process before and during the pat-down. If you have a medical device, please inform the Officer.

Will children receive pat-downs?
Transportation Security Officers will work with parents to resolve any alarms at the checkpoint. TSA has modified screening procedures for children 12 and under that reduces the likelihood of a pat-down.


For the safety and security of the traveling public, TSA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and/or airlines have prohibited certain items from being brought onto airplanes in carry-on and/or checked bags. To help you plan ahead and avoid the potential of additional screening, be sure to check out the prohibited items here and pack accordingly.


Passengers 75 and older receive modified screening procedures as part of TSA's overarching risk-based security methodology. These procedures are similar to screening procedures for passengers 12 and under and improve screening by better focusing resources on passengers who may be more likely to pose a risk. 

Passengers 75 and older can:
  • Leave on shoes and light jackets through security checkpoints.
  • Undergo an additional pass through Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) to clear any anomalies detected during screening.

An expanded use of explosives trace detection technology is also deployed on a wider basis to resolve alarms. Travelers may be required to remove their shoes or undergo a pat-down if anomalies are detected during security screening that cannot be resolved through other means.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How are individuals who are 75 and older identified at the checkpoint?
Transportation Security Officers make a visual assessment to determine passengers who are 75 or older and inform them of changes to the screening procedures. These procedures are similar to providing modified screening procedures for passengers 12 and under.

Q. Does TSA perform pat-downs on passengers 75 and older?
A. Modified procedures reduce though not eliminate the need for a physical pat-down for travelers 75 and older. Passengers 75 and older could still undergo a pat-down and be asked to remove their shoes if anomalies are detected during security screening that cannot be resolved through other means.

Q. Do individuals 75 and older still go through imaging technologies?
A. Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) remains a screening option for all passengers able to assume and hold the AIT stance for five seconds. Imaging technology remains optional for all passengers. Senior passengers 75 and older are permitted an additional pass through AIT to clear any anomalies.

Q. What happens if the passengers shoes alarm?
A. Passengers 75 or older whose shoes alarm during screening will be advised to take their shoes off during the next security screening pass. All alarms must be resolved.

Q. Are travel companions for individuals 75 and older eligible for modified screening procedures?
A. Only travelers who meet the age requirement of 75 and older are eligible for these modified screening procedures. Passengers 12 and under are also permitted to leave their shoes on during screening.

Q. Have procedures for passengers 75 and older who use wheelchairs changed as well?
A. Passengers 75 and older who are unable to stand for screening will receive a comparable level of screening, including explosives trace detection.

Q. Has the screening of medical devices changed for passengers who are 75 and older?
A. Screening procedures for passengers 75 and older with medical devices have not changed. These passengers will be provided an additional pass through Advanced Imaging Technology to resolve anomalies.

Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 with questions about screening policies and procedures, as well as what to expect at the security checkpoint. When a passenger with a disability or medical condition calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide assistance either with information about screening that is relevant to the passengers specific disability or medical condition or the passenger may be referred to disability experts at TSA. 


When it comes to bringing items through checkpoints, we've seen just about everything. Traveling with food or gifts is an even bigger challenge. Everyone has favorite foods from home that they want to bring to holiday dinners, or items from their destination that they want to bring back home.

Not sure about what you can and can't bring through the checkpoint? Here's a list of liquid, aerosol and gel items that you should put in your checked bag, ship ahead, or leave at home if they are above the permitted 3.4 oz.
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Cologne
  • Creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, etc.)
  • Gift baskets with food items (salsa, jams and salad dressings)
  • Gravy
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Lotions
  • Maple syrup
  • Oils and vinegars
  • Perfume
  • Salad dressing
  • Salsa
  • Sauces
  • Snowglobes
  • Soups
  • Wine, liquor and beer
You can bring pies and cakes through the security checkpoint, but please be advised that they are subject to additional screening.

While wrapped gifts are not prohibited, if a bag alarms, Security Officers may have to unwrap a gift to take a closer look inside. It is recommended passengers wrap gifts after their flight or ship them ahead of time, to avoid the possibility of having to open them during the screening process.

Note that items purchased after the security checkpoint have been pre-screened and can be taken on the plane.


One of the primary goals of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is to provide the highest level of security and customer service to all who pass through the screening checkpoints. TSA's current policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers, regardless of their personal situations and needs, are treated equally and with the dignity, respect, and courtesy they deserve.

Although every person and item must be screened before entering each secure boarding area. All disability-related equipment, aids, and devices are allowed through security checkpoints once cleared through screening.

Please click on the links below for specific information about screening of disabilities and medical conditions. Click here to download the Disability Notification Card for Air Travel (pdf, 69kb).

Please click on the links below for specific information about what to expect for passengers who: TSA Cares Help Line

TSA Cares is a help line to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. TSA recommends that passengers call 72 hours ahead of travel to for information about what to expect during screening.

Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. TSA Cares will serve as an additional, dedicated resource specifically for passengers with disabilities, medical conditions or other circumstances or their loved ones who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying.

The hours of operation for the TSA Cares help line are Monday through Friday 8 AM - 11 PM EST, and weekends and Holidays 9 AM - 8 PM EST. Travelers who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to contact TSA Cares or can e-mail

When a passenger with a disability or medical condition calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide assistance, either with information about screening that is relevant to the passengers specific disability or medical condition, or the passenger may be referred to disability experts at TSA.

TSA recommends that passengers call approximately 72 hours ahead of travel so that TSA Cares has the opportunity to coordinate checkpoint support with a TSA Customer Service Manager located at the airport when necessary.


We salute and appreciate the sacrifice of all of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Services. Click here for the most up-to-date helpful hints for screening your person, carry-on bags and checked baggage to help you achieve a trouble-free travel experience at the airport.


Here are some helpful guidelines for transporting special items from the security perspective. Please note that airlines and other countries may have additional rules and restrictions on these and other items. You should check with your airline for more information. If you are traveling internationally, also check with the authorities in the country you plan to visit.

Also, if you are transporting particularly large items please verify your airline's policies on these items before you arrive at the airport. These standards differ from one airline to another and it is the responsibility of the airline to restrict items due to size limitations.

Click the links below for helpful tips for traveling with special items:

TSA is required to screen everyone, regardless of age, in order to ensure the security of all travelers. Many Transportation Security Officers are parents themselves and understand travelers' concern for their children. Security Officers will approach children gently and treat them with respect. If a child becomes uncomfortable or upset, Security Officers will consult parents about the best way to relieve the child's concern.

Screening procedures for passengers 12 and under include:
  • Allowing children 12 and under to leave their shoes on.
  • Allowing multiple passes through the walk through metal detector and advanced imaging technology to clear any alarms on children.
  • Using explosives trace detection technology on a wider basis to resolve alarms on children.

General Screening Information
  • Children 12 and under can leave their shoes on during screening.
  • TSA will not ask travelers to do anything that will separate them from their child.
  • Passengers cannot leave babies in an infant carrier and attempt to put it through the X-ray machine. Babies should be carried through a walk through metal detector by a parent or guardian.
  • All carry-on baggage, including children's toys, bags and items, will be screened. Please let your child know that their blanket, favorite stuffed animal or toy will have to go through the X-ray machine and then will be returned to them.
  • All child-related equipment that can fit through the X-ray machine should go through the X-ray machine. Examples include: strollers, umbrella-strollers, baby carriers, car and booster seats, backpacks, and baby slings.
  • If possible, please collapse or fold strollers and any other child-related equipment while in the queue. Please put any items in the stroller pockets or baskets, in a carry-on bag or in the bin X-ray belt for inspection. Plastic bins are provided to deposit such items.
  • If any equipment will not fit through the X-ray machine, Security Officers will visually and physically inspect it.
  • Ask a Security Officer for help gathering bags and equipment, if needed.
The Walk-Through Metal Detector

Children who can walk without assistance should walk through the metal detector separately from their parent or guardian. If they alarm, TSA has procedures in place that have reduced, but will not eliminate, the need for pat- downs to resolve the alarm, including multiple passes through screening technologies and other procedures.

Infants and small children may be carried through the metal detector, but if the alarm sounds, the Officer will have to conduct additional screening on both the passenger and the child. If a baby is carried through the metal detector in a sling, additional screening may be required even if there isn't an alarm.

Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT)

TSA uses advanced imaging technology (AIT) to safely screen passengers for metallic and non-metallic threats. Any passenger capable of assuming and staying in the required position for 5 seconds is eligible for AIT screening. If a child 12 and under goes through AIT and alarms, they will have an opportunity to go through the technology again or the Security Officer may use other procedures to resolve the alarm to reduce the need for a pat-down.

Parents carrying infants or children cannot be screened by the imaging technology. In addition, parents accompanying children may opt out of being screened by imaging technology to prevent them from being separated from their family.

Traveling With Baby Formula, Breast Milk and Other Liquids For Infants and Small Children

In September 2006, TSA enacted rules for carrying liquids, gels and aerosols in carry-on bags. All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in 3.4 ounce (100ml) or smaller containers, and packed in a one quart, zip-top bag. Each passenger can take one zip-top bag in their carry-on. Larger quantities of liquids may be packed in checked bags.

Medically necessary liquids and gels, including medications, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice are exempt from the 3-1-1 rules, and are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces (100ml). They are not required to be in a zip-top bag. Officers may ask travelers to open these items to conduct additional screening and passengers should declare them for inspection at the checkpoint.

Please be advised that passengers going on long trips should only carry on the medically necessary liquids and gels needed for their infant/toddler's immediate comfort during the flight. Please pack larger amounts of liquids for the remainder of the trip in a checked bag.

Lastly, avoid any additional hassles by making sure nothing you plan to pack is on TSA's list of prohibited items.

Children With Medical Conditions, Mobility Aids or Disabilities

Whether your child has a disability or medical condition or because of injury or disability will be traveling through the checkpoint in a wheelchair, please read the following information and share it with children traveling with you so you are prepared and understand the process. The more you and your child are informed about the screening process, the less stressful it can be.
  • Please inform the Transportation Security Officer if the child has a disability, medical condition or medical devices, and if you think the child may become upset during the screening process as a result. You can offer suggestions on how to best accomplish the screening process to minimize any confusion for the child.
  • Please tell the Security Officer what the child's abilities are. For example: whether the child can walk through the metal detector or can they be carried through the metal detector by the parent/guardian.
  • At no time should the Security Officer remove your child from his/her mobility aid (wheelchair or scooter). You are responsible for removing your child from his/her equipment, at your discretion, to accomplish screening.
  • If your child is unable to walk or stand, the Security Officer will use alternate measures to screen your child while he/she remains in their mobility aid, that may include a visual and physical inspection of their equipment.
  • If you're traveling alone, please ask a Security Officer for assistance in putting your and the child's carry-on items on the X-ray belt.

TSA's general security considerations for religious or cultural needs allows you multiple options. If you do not want to go through the metal detector, you may request a personal search (pat-down inspection) as an alternative. You may also ask the Security Officer for a private area for this personal search and will be provided a Security Officer of the same gender. If you refuse appropriate screening, you will not be allowed to pass the security checkpoint and you will be unable to board your plane.


You are permitted to wear loose fitting or religious garments during the screening process. You may be directed to additional screening if your clothing (religious or otherwise) is loose fitting or large enough to hide prohibited items. If you are directed by the Security Officer to proceed to additional screening, then you will undergo a combination of hand-wand screening and/or pat-down inspections that could include any portion of the body and head area that requires further examination.

At any time during the screening process, you may request that screening of your person or property take place in a private screening area. It is TSA's policy that passengers should be screened by a Security Officer of the same gender.


On August 4, 2007, TSA implemented revisions to its screening procedures for head coverings. TSA does not conduct ethnic or religious profiling, and employs multiple checks and balances to ensure profiling does not happen.

All members of the traveling public are permitted to wear head coverings (whether religious or not) through the security checkpoints. The new standard procedures subject all persons wearing head coverings to the possibility of additional security screening, which may include a pat-down search of the head covering. Individuals may be referred for additional screening if the Security Officer cannot reasonably determine that the head area is free of a detectable threat item. If the issue cannot be resolved through a pat-down search, the individual will be offered the opportunity to remove the head covering in a private screening area.

TSA's security procedures, including the procedures for screening head coverings, are designed to ensure the security of the traveling public. These procedures are part of TSA's multi-layered approach to security screening.


Religious knives, swords and other objects similar to the one on the right, are not permitted through the security checkpoint.  We advise you to place such items in your checked baggage.

You may request a hand-inspection from Security Officers for your religious, cultural or ceremonial items. If the item is prohibited from the cabin of the aircraft, you will be asked to place the item in your checked baggage. If the item is delicate, fragile or special handling is otherwise required, please let the Security Officer know so that he or she can handle the item accordingly.


TSA recognizes the concerns members of the transgender community may have with undergoing the security screening process at our Nations airports and is committed to conducting screening in a dignified and respectful manner. Click here for the most up-to-date travel tips that explain the various screening processes and technologies travelers may encounter at security checkpoints.


The Disability and Multicultural Division the Office of Civil Rights and Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement (CRL/OTE) is responsible for ensuring that TSAs security screening policies, procedures, and practices comply with all applicable civil liberties and civil rights laws, regulations, Executive Orders, and policies and do not discriminate against travelers on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or parental status; and cultivating and maintaining positive relationships and ongoing communication between TSA and members of the disability and multicultural communities. Click here for more information.


TSA currently employs approximately 50,000 Transportation Security Officers at over 450 airports across the country. These Officers are responsible for screening approximately 2 million travelers, as well as their associated baggage each day.

If during the screening process of persons or passengers property an injury, loss or damage occurs, travelers may obtain information on how to file a claim here.


TSA cares about privacy and are fully committed to the appropriate handling of individual information entrusted to them. Their primary mission is to protect the security of the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce. TSA's relationship with you is one of our most fundamental assets and they will do their best to respect and protect the privacy of individuals affected by our transportation security activities.

For more information regarding TSA's Privacy Office, click here.


Every day, TSA works with airports and law enforcement partners to ensure travelers arrive to their destinationssafety and securely. During periods of increased passenger travel for large sporting events, holiday travel, or other nationally recognized events, TSA speeds checkpoint screening without compromising passenger security.

For up-to-date information regarding specific events and holidays, click here.


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is undertaking efforts to focus its resources and improve the passenger experience at security checkpoints by applying new intelligence-driven, risk-based screening procedures and enhancing its use of technology.

This approach is based on the following premises:
  • The majority of airline passengers are low risk.
  • By having passengers voluntarily provide more information about themselves, TSA can better segment the population in terms of risk.
  • Behavior detection and interviewing techniques should be strengthened in the screening process.
  • TSA must accelerate its efforts to optimize screening processes and use of technology to gain system-wide efficiencies.
  • Increase security by focusing on unknowns; expedite known and trusted travelers.
For more information regarding these risk-based security initiatives, click here.

Have a safe trip and enjoy your flight!


The TSA Contact Center is here to help travelers prepare for upcoming flight. Whatever your question about traveling through TSA security, whether at the checkpoint or for checked baggage, they will get you an answer.

Every year, millions of people travel. A few minutes of advance research can really make the difference for you and your traveling companions. If you are planning a trip, you should take a moment to read the traveler's checklist (pdf, 218kb) - it is full of practical tips for having safe and enjoyable travel.

Click here for some links to helpful travel information and other resources if additional information is required. TSA  realizes that different types of travelers need different types of information, so included are links for sports fans, traveling with children, disabled travelers and more.


Hours: Monday Friday: 8:00 AM - 11:00 PM Eastern Time
Weekends/Holidays: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM Eastern Time
Phone: 1-866-289-9673