Understanding Security Protocols for Domestic Travel

Security protocols change all the time and for lots of reasons. Terrorist attacks, pandemics, and other events cause changes in security.

19 November 2010
Understanding Security Protocols for Domestic Travel

Despite being more expensive than other forms of transportation, air travel has become a more popular option among domestic travelers. People can get to their destinations a lot faster if they travel by air, and they do not have to waste a significant amount of their vacation time traveling on the road. While flying is a great way to travel, it can also be a frustrating experience. Air passengers have to know certain things to make their flights hassle free, and one of them is the security protocol for air travel.

Security measures have changed

Ever since the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001, airports in the United States have imposed more stringent security standards for both domestic and international flights. Air passengers should be prepared to deal with longer lines at security checkpoints, as well as more extensive security procedures. Those who are not familiar with air travel security protocols may not know what to do when they reach the checkpoints, and they may bring with them certain items that are prohibited. As a result, they may have to undergo more in-depth security screening, which can involve full body inspections, thorough searches of bags and personal belongings, or interviews. This can take up a lot of time, and it can even cause a person to miss a flight. To avoid travel or flight complications, it is very important for air passengers to know what to expect at airport security checkpoints. Those who are well prepared will spend minimal time at the checkpoints, and they will have a more relaxing and pleasant flying experience.

New recommendations

With heightened security measures, it is recommended that travelers arrive at the airports at least a few hours before their flight is scheduled to depart. Travelers should call their airlines to find out how long the security checks will take at a more congested airport and confirm that their flight is on schedule, so that they can make allowance for the extra time needed.

For domestic travel in the United States, travelers may be asked to produce a form of identification, that includes a photo, this should be issued by the country, state, or region when they are checking-in; domestic travel does not necessarily require a passport. After checking in with their airline, air passengers will be asked to show their identification cards at the security checkpoints and departure gates. E-ticket holders may be required to show a written confirmation from their airlines to prove that they have indeed made their reservations.

What you can expect

Air passengers are only allowed to bring one bag and one other personal item when they board their flights. All other bags have to be checked with the airlines, there may be extra charges based on the number of bags or the weight of the bags brought. For most airlines, carry-on bags have to be less than 45 linear inches in size, meaning that the total length of the bag’s height, width, and depth must not exceed 45 inches. Travelers must also be aware that they are not allowed to carry certain items when they are flying. There are items that are prohibited both in carry-on or checked luggage, and these include flammable items, explosive materials, gases and pressure containers, poisons, oxidizers, corrosives, infectious materials, highly magnetic materials, radioactive materials, and others. Certain things can be kept in checked luggage, but they cannot be carried into airplane cabins, and they include certain sports equipment, cutting instruments, firearms, ammunition, paintball guns, working tools, dry ice, and others.

Normally, only passengers who will be flying can go beyond the security checkpoints, but their family members or caregivers may accompany those who need special assistance, such as disabled people and children, until the departure gate. Passengers have to take off their shoes and remove all electronic items from their bags or pockets at the security checkpoints. Electronic devices have to undergo extra screening, and they will be x-rayed separately. In addition, security officers will ask passengers to remove all metal objects before they pass through the metal detectors.

Unexpected situations may occur at the security checkpoints, and certain passengers may have to undergo extra screening by security officers. If the extra screening takes too long, they may even miss their flights. To make sure that they do not lose their travel investment, travelers should purchase a travel insurance policy that includes flight insurance. With the right travel insurance policy, they will get full reimbursement for the financial losses that they suffer because of certain circumstances that occur at the airports.

Damian Tysdal

Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.

Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.