But Why? TSA Q&A

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By John Gobbels, Medjet VP/COO

Have you ever wondered why you have to take your laptop out of your bag, or why you can only bring 3 ounces of liquid on board your flight? I’ve often wondered about these questions as well so I decided to try and find some answers to these and other “WHY” questions.

Why 3 Ounces or less?

Liquids still pose a threat to aviation security. TSA and their partners have conducted extensive explosives testing since August 2006 and determined that these items, in limited quantities, are safe to bring aboard an aircraft. The TSA determined that the maximum amount of liquid a person can carry is 3.4 ounces without causing damage to the aircraft.

Why do I have to remove my laptop from my bag?

The TSA screens laptops to see if the electronics have been tampered with. Transportation Security Officers know what the inside of a computer should look like, and they can recognize irregularities. This is why they need an unobstructed view as the item moves through the X-ray machine.

Why do I have to place my shoes on the x-ray belt?

In May of 2009, the TSA began advising passengers going through security screening to place their shoes on the X-ray belt as opposed to placing them in a bin. It is TSA’s intent to de-clutter bins and provide Transportation Security Officers with the clearest image possible and provide a better look at all items going through the X-ray.

By placing their shoes directly on the belt, passengers can assist officers expediting them through screening. This simple task cuts time by reducing the number of items re-run (presumably from cluttered bins) through the X-ray, therefore reducing the time it takes for additional screening. This simple step will streamline passage through checkpoints and passengers benefit from a quicker experience.

Why Secure Flight?

The TSA must ensure known or suspected terrorists are unable to obtain a boarding pass. To mitigate this risk, the TSA is implementing its Secure Flight program – a behind-the-scenes watch list matching process that vets passengers against government watch lists before a boarding pass is ever issued.

Hopefully this helped answer some of the “WHY” questions you might have as it relates to the screening process. Remember to travel smart, travel safe and always travel with your Medjet card….