News From Our Blog

Help the TSA create a more efficient screening process

Think you can help make TSA more efficient? Could you use an extra $2,500 - $15,000? Then you should enter the TSA “Next Generation Queue Design and Model” challenge.

TSA is looking for ideas to redesign its security queues in airports to better accommodate TSA Pre-check flyers. TSA Pre-check is an expedited screening program that allows low-risk travelers to experience a faster, more efficient security screening. They need the new design to include, but not be limited to the following lanes:

  • TSA Pre-check

  • Standard travelers

  • Premier Passengers (first class, business class, frequent flyers)

  • Employees & flight crews

  • PWD (wheelchair access)


The deadline for entry is August, 15th. For details and requirements, see the challenge overview.

Airport security pat-downs are necessary under certain circumstances. Find out why and how they are to be conducted.

TSA to Allow Small Knives and Sports Equipment in Carry-On Luggage

Update 4/23: TSA has delayed the implementation of the new rule to allow people to carry small knives on planes. 

Starting April 25, the Transportation Security Administration will allow airline passengers to carry several previously banned items in their carry-on bags.

These items include

  • Small knives
  • Novelty-sized and toy bats
  • Billiard cues
  • Ski poles
  • Hockey sticks
  • Lacrosse sticks
  • Two golf clubs

To be permitted in a carry-on bag, knives must have blades that are shorter than 2.36 inches (6 cm) in length and are less than half an inch wide. Knives with locking blades or fixed grips and razors and box cutters are still not permitted and must be stored in a checked bag. Learn more about what knives can be carried on planes

In order to be carried on, bats must weigh less than 24 ounces. Full-size baseball, softball and cricket bats are still prohibited in carry-on luggage and must be checked. Learn more about sports equipment carry-on requirements

The changes were put in place to allow TSA agents to focus on finding items that pose a larger threat, such as explosives.

If you’re unsure if your knife or sports equipment meets the carry-on requirements, the TSA recommends that you store the item in a checked bag and encourages you to check with your airline for any additional restrictions.

Holiday Tip of the Day: Fly Through Airport Security

You can get through the airport security line faster by traveling with unwrapped gifts and following the 3-1-1 rule when carrying on liquids, including liquid food items like cranberry sauce and gravy. You can also use the My TSA app or mobile website if you’re at the airport and need last minute information about what you can and can’t bring through security. Learn more about flying with food or gifts.

Did you miss yesterday’s tip? Get more holiday tips.

Summer Travel Tips from TSA

By Blogger Bob, a member of the TSA blog team

Summertime isn’t officially here yet, but with a heat index yesterday of 104°, you could have fooled me! The weather is definitely a reminder that summer is right around the corner. It’s time to figure out where you put all of your summer clothes and summery type outdoor thingamabobs. Now is also the time of year when your summer travel is quickly approaching and I’m guessing the last thing on your mind is spending an evening at TSA.gov researching your travel questions. So, we’ve taken all of our best travel tips and provided them here in one place in a handy dandy blog post.

Can I Bring My… : What can you bring in your carry-on? What needs to be checked and what has to stay at home? Find out using our Can I Bring My… tool or take a look at our prohibited items list.

Foods: Food items that are in the form of a liquid or gel are generally not permitted however, items such as cakes, bread, donuts, ham sammiches, etc. are all permitted. Here is a list of items that are prohibited at the checkpoint… Creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, salsa, jams and salad dressings, gravy (mmm gravy), jams, jellies, maple syrup, oils and vinegars, sauces, soups, wine, liquor and beer.

Family Lanes: Frequent flyers hate it when they’re in line behind a family, and guess what… families hate it when the frequent flyer is behind them tapping their foot and sighing. That’s why we created Family Lanes. They’re designed to let families take their time and ask questions without feeling rushed by the experienced frequent flyers who can zip through a checkpoint in no time. Also, as stated earlier, anybody carrying exemptible liquids, aerosols and gels in excess of 3.4 oz may be directed to a Family Lane.

How to Get Through the Line Faster: We put together some great tips on how to get through our lines faster. Click here to read tips about the right clothes to wear, which ID to use and many other helpful tips and videos. If you travel through an airport with Advanced Imaging Technology (Body Scanner), ensure you remove everything from your pockets whether it’s metal or paper to prevent you from having to undergo additional screening. Also wear easily removable shoes. For example, flip-flops or loafers would be easier to kick off than knee-high lace-up boots.

You can find more summer travel tips from Blogger Bob at the TSA blog.