Life at the boarding gate used to be so much easier. Now we have to think about what items we can and can’t carry on in our hand luggage. I’ve already had to throw away a couple of bottles of water and a jar of my favorite lip gloss when the restrictions changed and I hadn’t kept up-to-date.
The current TSA regulations for flights are getting promoted as the 3-1-1 program. Basically, this means you can take your liquids and gels on board in bottles that contain 3 ounces or less, in 1 quart-sized clear, plastic zip-top bag, and just 1 of these per passenger. And if you have your plastic bag ready and put it separately into the security bin at the checkpoint, that makes the process fast and painless for everyone.
If you must travel with larger quantities of liquids – for example, baby formula or prescription medications – take this out of your bag too and declare it to the security staff.
All of this does mean that the process of getting on to your airplane inevitably takes longer, and I admit that sometimes this drives me crazy – but when you’re waiting in a seemingly endless queue, just think of the alternative. I know I’d rather feel safe and secure on my plane, and I just try to have something to amuse me in the line. Whether it’s chatting with my traveling companion or reading a book while I shuffle my bag forward with my foot, it’s all better than boarding an airplane that might not be safe. Hey, I should work for the TSA!