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Air travel (NVR)

Hi guys,

  I will be traveling over the next few weeks to several places necessitating several changes of planes in several cities (all within the US).  I have been fortunate in the last few years to only need to fly occasionally and only out of smaller airports, but this series of trips will be pay back.  I prefer to not check my luggage if possible, given that I will be on different airlines with varying layovers and I just don't want my stuff in never-never land.

  My question pertains to security, specifically at LAX and Atlanta, which will be the largest airports that I'll have to deal with (unless Phoenix has gotten larger and more obnoxious in the last 5 years).  I've seen the airport lists of what is and isn't allowed, but do they strew your stuff around at security?  I'm trying to figure out how to pack.  Should I just expect my bag to be riffled through and accept it?  Should I just get over it and check the darn bag?  I guess it's not that big of a deal to have some security person going through my underwear, but I'd like to be somewhat prepared, I suppose.

I'm expecting Atlanta to be the biggest PIA, only because it always seems to be  ::) but it is also the one most familiar to me.  I've only been out of LAX a few times and I don't recall them being terribly uptight, but times have changed...

Anybody been strip searched recently?

Thanks!

It's not too bad right now. But, don't bring any liquids with you. They will confiscate shampoo bottles, toothpaste, water, etc. ::) I've gotten away with taking trial size versions with me, though.

If you check, they'll rifle through your bag without you there. But, they'll leave you a note inside of the suitcase saying "this bag has been inspected." If you don't check, they'll rifle through it with you there.

Or they might not. It all depends on what they see on that x-ray screen, and on how "ambitions" the security guards are.

I find that traveling during the week, with less people, seems to yield less security checking than when there is a huge crowd. Go figure.

No strip searches here, lol. And if they suggested it, I'd avoid flying that day! Cause there is no way I'd let some stranger strip search me. It's bad enough that you have to take shoes, belts, etc. off AND they still pat you down. God, I hate flying.

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With certain exceptions for prescription and over-the-counter medicines, baby formula and breast milk, the following rules apply:

All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in three-ounce or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. Each container must be three ounces or smaller.

All three-ounce liquids, gels and aerosols must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Gallon size bags or bags that are not zip-top such as fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed. Each traveler can use only one, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag.

Each traveler must remove their quart-sized plastic, zip-top bag from their carry-on and place it in a bin or on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening.

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With certain exceptions for prescription and over-the-counter medicines, baby formula and breast milk, the following rules apply:

All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in three-ounce or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. Each container must be three ounces or smaller.

All three-ounce liquids, gels and aerosols must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Gallon size bags or bags that are not zip-top such as fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed. Each traveler can use only one, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag.

Each traveler must remove their quart-sized plastic, zip-top bag from their carry-on and place it in a bin or on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening.

Do you know if this pertains to make-up as well?  As in, does my lip gloss need to be in the zip-loc bag and can I have a separate bag for the mascara, etc... 

Is sun screen a liquid? 
Thanks for the quick responses.  I don't usually mind traveling, but I'm going to be gone a few weeks and am not jazzed about this trip as much as i think I should be. 

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I just got back from a trip to SF yesterday. I flew from Providence to Dulles to SFO, then SFO to Chicago O'Hare to Providence. This is what I can tell you:

- they closely scrutinized my Mac laptop in Providence and said it looked suspicious under the x-ray (?)
- I put my meds and travel shave gel in a quart-size ziploc..just put it in a separate tray in the security line
- www.tsa.gov is a good resource for what you can/can't pack
- bring hand sanitizer and use it frequently  8)
- as far as underwear, I always pack it in ziploc bags - that way, they can "examine" it if they need to but they won't actually touch it
- keep your photo ID handy because everyone and their grandmother will ask to examine it
- I had Clif and Lunabars in my carry-on on both trips and was able to get through security. I even had an open bag of pretzels in my carry-on on the way home, and that also got through. I recommend trying to bring something because trying to find something to eat at the airport can be challlenging...

Hope this helps!

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- as far as underwear, I always pack it in ziploc bags - that way, they can "examine" it if they need to but they won't actually touch it

Great idea!! (actually, they all were helpful, but I LOVE that...)

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Do you know if this pertains to make-up as well?  As in, does my lip gloss need to be in the zip-loc bag and can I have a separate bag for the mascara, etc... 

Is sun screen a liquid? 
Thanks for the quick responses.  I don't usually mind traveling, but I'm going to be gone a few weeks and am not jazzed about this trip as much as i think I should be. 

Yes, this rule applies to make up and sunscreen. Put everything in the same bag. I used a gallon sized  bag last time and all I got was a warning that next time I needed to use a quart size (Louisville, KY airport).

I tried to find empty travel size containers to take my shampoo, face wash, etc.  in, but all the ones I could find were 4oz. or more!  >:(  So I bought the little travel sized Scope bottles (2.6 oz.), emptied them, and refilled them with all of my stuff. Pretty easy.

Good luck!

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Do you know if this pertains to make-up as well?  As in, does my lip gloss need to be in the zip-loc bag and can I have a separate bag for the mascara, etc... 

I put my makeup in the bag, but not the eyeliner or lip gloss because they are less than 3 oz.

Edit:  I just realized that didn't make any sense at all...I'm having a "der" moment.  Basically, I've never had a problem having lip gloss or eyeliner in my purse...but that's is just my experience and it wasn't at any of the airports mentioned above.

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When I went to Florida, O'Hare didn't have a problem with my lip gloss, but coming back, Ft.Myers did.  I actually didn't know it was in there until I was on my way back and got stopped at the checkpoint.
Some of it depends on the airport, I guess?  I know it shouldn't, but that's the only way I can explain why I dind't get searched in Chicago.

And, for the love of all things good in this world, wear socks.  I hate the walking thru the metal detectors barefoot issue.  Creeps me and my feet out... makes me speculate just how many people have actually walked that floor before me... ew the horror. :)

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If you wear flip flops you can sometimes get away with not taking your shoes off.

When they rifle through your carry-on, they usually bring you to a different area so everyone can't just see whatever you have.

I wanted to add a note about food.  If you're vegan, I assume you will be bringing your own.  I know someone who brought a small snack-size container of applesauce and had it confiscated as a liquid.  I ALWAYS bring my food though- just make sure it's solid food.  I doubt they'll let you bring soup or something.  ;) 

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If you wear flip flops you can sometimes get away with not taking your shoes off.
 

That had typically been my experience, which is why my jaw dropped when they told me to take them off and walk thru.
EW.  I really and truly thought I could make it through with flip flops, especially since there wasn't anything fancy about them!!

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The only personal objects I take are a toothbrush and toothpaste.  I just use whatever shampoo/conditioner and soap that the hotel supplies since I can't find trial size vegan products around me.

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- as far as underwear, I always pack it in ziploc bags - that way, they can "examine" it if they need to but they won't actually touch it

Great idea!! (actually, they all were helpful, but I LOVE that...)

Thanks for this tip!! I'll remember it next time!! The last time I flew the only liquid I brought was a really small bottle of contact solution. I was careful not to bring lipgloss & brought chapstick instead. Then when we got there, we found a convience store & brought toletries, including disposable razors. Not ideal, but it saved me a lot of hassle. But that was over a year ago & I think they were more strict then. Even then, my carryon was not rifled through and they let me wear sandal through the metal detector.

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Thanks guys!  I've got my toiletries in tiny bottles and my panties in ziploc bags  :D

I've got to wrap up this quarters taxes (ARRGH I HATE THIS PART OF MY JOB) today (plan on my being around vegweb a lot today, grumph); then off to the west coast and beyond.  See ya in a few weeks!

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Have a great time, Nutdragon!!

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Whoa...a quart sized ziploc is tiny...I think I use too much crap.

This thing only  has to carry liquids/gels/creams, right?  No deodorant, powder, q-tips, bars of soap (I'm real picky about my soap)..stuff like that?  I could just buy some there, but I'm going to 5 cities in 2 weeks, I hate to have to buy everything at every stop.

And Meggs, thanks for the good wishes.  I've been asked to remove my flip flops, too.  Pretty gross to tread barefoot across the terrazzo floor behind some jack in dirty sweat socks.  Ewww.

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Whoa...a quart sized ziploc is tiny...I think I use too much crap.

This thing only  has to carry liquids/gels/creams, right?  No deodorant, powder, q-tips, bars of soap (I'm real picky about my soap)..stuff like that?  I could just buy some there, but I'm going to 5 cities in 2 weeks, I hate to have to buy everything at every stop.

And Meggs, thanks for the good wishes.  I've been asked to remove my flip flops, too.  Pretty gross to tread barefoot across the terrazzo floor behind some jack in dirty sweat socks.  Ewww.

It's just for any liquids you want to carry-on...what I did was check my luggage with my shampoo, soap, razor, brush, etc. and only carried-on the liquid I thought might explode (LOL) which was my shave gel, as well as hand sanitizer, chap stick, and Airborne. You can use a separate quart-size ziploc for medications - they specifically do NOT count toward your one-quart-bag allowance. So, I had one bag with my liquids, and one with just my meds, and that is perfectly allowable.

But to answer your question...I wouldn't waste the precious little space in the quart-size ziploc with q-tips/soap/deodorant..can you put that stuff in your checked baggage?

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We just have to get over it...flying as we once knew it .....2 carry on bags stuffed in the overhead bins....and whatever else we had in them..... is history. I have to say....it does not make us safer.....not in the least. I fly out of ATL so much that I actually know some of the people that work there by name (sad)....but....I don't feel any safer...or more afraid then I did flying 10 years ago out of NYC as my home airport(s).

The best thing to do is check you bags....bring a good book or a newspaper to read....or...your laptop......and then.....get on the plane. Everything else needs to be checked these days. It really does not take that long to get your bags when you land....I'm over thinking about it being a "hassle" these days....

Way back when......I used to make it an "art form" out of trying to get as much stuff as I could into my carry on bags and not having to check any bags....now....I just go with the flow....and get "flagged for some "extra" security every other flight I take. Not a big deal.......I guess I'm used to it.....kinda sad though... ???

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Safe & happy travels, nutdragon!

I have nothing else to add to the advice already given.  Good stuff.

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