www.baltimoresun.com/travel/bal-bs-bwi-survival-guide-screening,0,3798163.story

baltimoresun.com

Airport security: Five things to know before you go

By Michelle Deal-Zimmerman

The Baltimore Sun

November 18, 2010

Advertisement

1. Full-body screening: Travelers should expect to be randomly assigned to pass through either a metal detector or a full-body scanner. Those who opt out of the advanced imaging scans — and you can certainly refuse — will be asked to undergo an "enhanced" pat-down as alternative screening.

2. Pat-down procedure: The U.S. government has tightened security screening measures, including a change in how the Transportation Security Administration does pat-downs. The new technique allows TSA security officers to use their palms and fingers to probe for hidden weapons and other devices. In the past, officers used the backs of their hands to brush past sensitive body parts. Children age 12 and under will not be subjected to the "enhanced" version, but will receive a modified pat-down. (You can find out more on pat-downs at The TSA Blog. )

3. Boarding passes: TSA's Secure Flight Program requires airlines to collect the legal name, date of birth and gender from all passengers. The information is used to match against the government watch list. The name on your boarding pass must match exactly the name on your identification.

4. Loafers, liquids and laptops: Travelers still must remove their shoes at the security checkpoint. The liquid ban remains in place for anything over 3 ounces or so. Small laptops, e-readers and electronics such as the iPad do not need to be removed from their cases for screening.

5. Check these items: Cranberry sauce, creamy dips, jams, jellies, gravy, maple syrup, oils or vinegars, salad dressing, salsa, sauces, soups and wine, liquor or beer.