Traveler Resources


Prepare for Takeoff!
There are preparations you can make before you arrive at the airport to help you move more quickly and efficiently through the new security processes. Here you will find suggestions on what to wear to the airport and how to pack for your trip. We've also included a pre-flight checklist to help you prepare for takeoff.

Be Prepared - Dress the Part
Be aware that any metal detected at the checkpoint must be identified. If you set off the alarm, you will be required to undergo a secondary screening, including a hand-wanding and a pat-down inspection. You can remove metal items at the security checkpoint and place them in the bins provided. The bins will be sent through the X-ray machine. You can save time, however, by not wearing metal items or by placing such items in your carry-on baggage before you get in line.

TIP: Avoid wearing clothing, jewelry, or other accessories that contain metal when traveling.

Jewelry (pins, necklaces, bracelets, rings, watches, earrings, body piercings, cuff links, lanyard or bolo tie) Shoes with steel tips, heels, shanks, buckles or nails clothing with metal buttons, snaps or studs metal hair barrettes or other hair decoration belt buckles or under-wire brassieres.

Hidden items such as body piercings may result in a pat-down inspection. You may ask to remove your body piercing in private as an alternative to the pat-down search.

TIP: Avoid placing metal items in your pockets. Keys, loose change, lighters mobile phones, pagers, and personal data assistants (PDAs).

TIP: Instead, place jewelry and other metal items in your carry-on baggage until you clear security.

TIP: Outer coats including trench coats, ski jackets, leather jackets, overcoats and parkas must go through the X-ray machine for inspection. If you choose to wear an outer coat to the checkpoint, you will need to either place it in your carry-on or put it in the bin that is provided for you. You will not need to remove suit jackets or blazers unless requested by the screener.

Security does not require any particular style or type of clothing. However, certain clothing and accessories can set off an alarm on the metal detector and slow you down. Here you will find tips to help you through the checkpoint.

Plan Ahead - Pack Smart
Carry-on Baggage is a small piece of luggage you take onboard the airplane with you. You are allowed one carry-on in addition to one personal item such as a laptop computer, purse, small backpack, briefcase, or camera case.

Checked Baggage is luggage you check in at the ticket counter or at curbside. It will not be accessible during your flight.

Below are a number of tips for packing your checked baggage that will help to speed your trip and ensure that your checked bag makes the flight with you.

Don't put film in your checked baggage, as the screening equipment will damage it. Pack shoes, boots, sneakers, and other footwear on top of other contents in your luggage. Avoid over-packing your bag so that the screener will be able to easily reseal your bag if it is opened for inspection. If possible, spread your contents over several bags. Check with your airline or travel agent for maximum weight limitations. Avoid packing food and drink items in checked baggage. Don't stack piles of books or documents on top of each other; spread them out within your baggage.

The following general packing tips apply to both carry-on and checked baggage and will help you to move through the screening process more quickly:

Do NOT pack or bring prohibited items to the airport. See permitted and prohibited items. Put all undeveloped film and cameras with film in your carry-on baggage. If your bag will pass through the X-ray machine more than 5 times ask for a hand inspection to prevent damage. Check ahead of time with your airline or travel agent to determine the airline's baggage policy, including number of pieces you can bring and size and weight limitations. Carry-on baggage is limited to one carry-on bag plus one personal item. Personal items include laptops, purses, small backpacks, briefcases, or camera cases. Remember, 1+1. Don't forget to place identification tags with your name, address and phone number on all of your baggage, including your laptop computer. It is a good idea to place an identification tag inside your baggage as well. Avoid overpacking so that your articles don't spill out if your bag is opened for inspection. Think carefully about the personal items you place in your carry-on baggage. The screeners may have to open your bag and examine its contents. Consider putting personal belongings in clear plastic bags to reduce the chance that a TSA screener will have to handle them. Wait to wrap your gifts. Be aware that wrapped gifts may need to be opened for inspection. This applies to both carry-on and checked baggage.

There are restrictions on what you can pack in your carry-on and checked baggage. All of your baggage will be screened and possibly hand-searched as part of the new security measures. This inspection may include emptying most or all of the articles in your bag. Here you will find tips to help you pack.

Final Checklist BeforeYou Arrive - Final Checklist
To determine how early to arrive at the airport. Recommended check-in times differ by airline and airport. To determine whether you need a boarding pass and photo identification to enter the passenger checkpoint. You can also check the TSA website by looking under Access Requirements for a current list of airports with this requirement.

Check with your airport: To confirm which parking lots are open if you will be parking at the airport. Some lots may be closed for security reasons. Be sure to allow extra time for parking and shuttle transportation.

Check to make sure you: Bring a boarding pass ticket or ticket confirmation such as a printed itinerary as well as a government-issued photo ID. Children under the age of 18 do not require an ID. At some airports only boarding passes will be accepted to enter the passenger checkpoint. Bring evidence verifying you have a medical implant or other device if it is likely to set off the alarm on the metal detector bring evidence verifying this condition. Although this is not a requirement it may help to expedite the screening process. Have removed prohibited items such as pocketknives metal scissors with pointed tips (metal or plastic scissors with blunt tips are permitted) and tools from your carry-on baggage. Double check the list of prohibited and permitted items to determine what can be placed in carry-on or checked baggage if you have any questions.

Have a safe trip!
By familiarizing yourself with the security process and following these tips and recommendations you will be able to play an active role in ensuring your own safety and comfort.

Getting Yourself There Safely
Health and Travel Safety Tips for Airline and Cruise Passengers

Most travelers expect a carefree vacation, leaving worries and troubles behind. The loss of personal property, a minor illness or accident, however, can turn a great vacation into one that you would rather forget. By becoming a well-informed traveler and planning ahead, you will be better prepared to protect your health and safety when traveling.

When planning a cruise vacation or air travel, consider the following:
Do not carry large quantities of cash. Travelers checks provide personal security and can be replaced. Also, carry only credit cards you will use on vacation. Cancelling lost or stolen credit cards is inconvenient and sometimes difficult on a vacation.

When traveling to a foreign country always be prepared regarding required travel documents such as passports, visas and tourist cards. It is a good idea, however, to always carry proof of citizenship, preferably a passport.

Pack a photocopy of your passport separately from the original. This will expedite the replacement process if the original passport is lost or stolen.

Mark all luggage with your name and address, using an employer's address if possible. Burglars may often case airports and use luggage address tags to identify potential targets.

With advance notice, most cruise lines and airlines can accommodate special dietary needs. Your AAA Travel Agent can make those arrangements.

Travel insurance can cover unexpected expenses including lost or stolen luggage, trip cancellation, emergency medical needs and missed flight connections.

Tips For Air Travelers
Air travelers can reduce delays and inconvenience in the wake of tighter security by taking some simple precautions.

Passenger and luggage check-in now takes longer due to more thorough security procedures and the elimination of curb-side check-in. For domestic flights, arrive at least two hours before departure - or three hours for an international flight, to allow more time and reduce the risk of missing a flight.

Carry identification. Many airlines will verify that the person checking in is the person to whom the ticket was issued. Therefore, carry at least one government-issued photo I.D. such as a drivers license or passport. A second photo I.D. is required at some airports.

Don't ever leave your luggage or carry-on items unattended, they could be stolen or be a potential target for someone to sneak an illegal item on board the airplane. Also, luggage that appears to be abandoned could look suspicious and be confiscated by airport personnel.

Pack your own luggage so you will be able to answer questions about the contents. Airline personnel will asks if you packed you own luggage. If you say you did not, your belongings are subject to a search.

You will help to reduce time at the security check-in if you take only personal and carry-on items that are truly necessary for your flight or for your security. Also, laptop computers and other electronic devices must be hand checked by security personnel and may require additional time to clear security.

A few more hints...
To avoid theft of your valuables, don't pack them in luggage that will be checked. Medication, cameras, eyeglasses, jewelry, home door keys, important documents and passports are items to carry on board with you.

To avoid dehydration on long flights, drink plenty of nonalcoholic beverages.

Cruise Tips

Before leaving on a cruise, consider the following:
Have medical and dental checkups just prior to departure to head off any potentially uncomfortable or harmful occurrences.

Have an existing medical condition? Ask your doctor for a letter explaining the condition, treatment or procedure for you to follow. Make the ship's medical staff aware of your condition at the start of the cruise.

Concerned about motion sickness? Consult a physician before you leave on vacation. A number of prescription and over-the-counter aids are available to control motion sickness.

Have you packed everything?
Pack an extra pair of prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses and/or contact lenses, all prescription medicine, the instructions and dosage amounts. Take a copy of your prescriptions in case you need to replace the eyeglasses or medication.

If traveling to a cold area, pack clothes that can be worn in layers for warmth. Include gloves and a hat.Once on board the cruise ship...

Put valuables in the ship's safe deposit box or room safe.

Never leave cabin keys unattended. If you plan to be at the pool, check keys with the ship's steward.

Use dead bolt and other locks provided by the cruise line. Make sure the door to the adjoining cabin is locked.

Protect yourself from the sun. Use plenty of sunscreen and wear a hat. When disembarking the ship for a land tour...

Follow the directions of your tour guide. If a self-guided tour is planned, ask authorized ship personnel which areas of town to avoid and if any special precautions should be taken when driving a rental car or using public transportation. Walk only in well-lit areas.

Crooks prey on vacationers who have let their guard down. Therefore, walk with a sense of purpose, as if you know where you are and where you are going. If you do get lost, don't act like it. Find a police officer or go into a hotel, restaurant or shop and ask directions. To avoid losing belongings, never leave luggage, purses or cameras unattended even for a moment. Useful Phone Numbers For more specific travel health and safety questions, the following organizations can offer additional information:

Airline safety record information questions can be directed to the Federal Aviation Administration Airports Division - 310-725-3620

Passport information questions can be directed to the United States Passport Agency - 310-235-7070

Cruise line cleanliness ratings questions can be directed to the Centers for Disease Control - 404-332-4555

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