Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, airport security has taken the word "security" to a new level. Not only do you have to go through the metal detector and put your carry-on baggage through an X-ray machine, but there are now some new procedures you must follow when traveling by air. These new rules are for your protection and are designed to keep flights safe for all passengers. It is important to listen and obey anything you are told to do when you are going through the various airport security checkpoints.

AIR TRAVEL BASICS

• Be ready to put your baggage through the X-ray machine. Take off anything that is metal and put it into your carry-on before you get to the front of the line. Going through security will be much quicker if you prepare ahead of time.

• Remove your coat or jacket to put it through the X-ray machine (you don't have to take off your suit jacket or sweater. You need to put your jacket through the X-ray machine.

• Cooperate with the airport personnel. If you are asked to have an additional screening, you must cooperate. If you don't, you will not be able to go any further through security. You will only be asked to have an additional screening if you set off the metal detector or if the computers randomly choose you to have an additional screening. Also, if you do set off the metal detector, you will have either a hand wand screening and/or a pat down.

• If your bag has been chosen for an additional screening, don't try to help or grab the bag before they are done. Let them do their job.

• Only bring one carry-on and one personal item on the plane. You are required to check all other luggage. Acceptable personal items include: purses, laptops, or briefcases.

• Do not try to bring half-eaten natural fruit through security unless it is wrapped.

• If you are between the ages of 13 and 17 and are unaccompanied by an adult, you must have your parent/guardian's written permission to travel.

• Something that seems safe to you might be considered a possible weapon when it comes to traveling by plane. If you bring something on the "banned" list, you have broken the law, and you can be prosecuted. Although the list of banned items may vary slightly from airline to airline, some illegal items include: pocket knives, scissors, razors, ice picks, manicure sets, and even cork screw wine bottle openers.

• If you have a question about your item, don't bring it. If it is very important to have on your trip, put it in your checked luggage.

• If you have something that could be considered threatening, you have three options: take it back to your car, give it to someone in your party to put in their checked luggage, or leave it with the police (you won't get it back).

• Remember to have your picture ID, boarding pass, and ticket with you (and on your person) at all times. You may be asked for any of these items at any time while going through security.

By remembering these helpful tips when going through security check points in the airport, your trip will not be unnecessarily delayed, and your airport experience will be less stressful.
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