Be Prepared: New TSA Electronics Security Guidelines

Are you flying and carrying electronics with you? It pays to be informed and up-to-date on the current TSA electronics security requirements. In this blog post, I will cover key changes, airport screening processes, prohibited items and banned devices on board planes, special considerations for electronic devices in checked bags, safe packing tips, and the consequences of noncompliance. Plus, I have included some frequently asked questions and additional resources to help you when travelling. Read on to get the intel you need to navigate TSA electronics regulations.

Table of Contents

Overview of Changes

Travelers must now be aware of the latest TSA electronics security requirements. This requires all travelers to remove any electronics larger than a cellphone from their carry-on bag for separate screening. The enhanced screening process also includes disassembly of laptop computers if needed. This can cause delays if travelers are not familiar with the new requirements.

Tips and Strategies to Speed Up Process

Be prepared for your flight. This includes being up-to-date on changes to security procedures and knowing the TSA electronics security requirements. Prior to arriving at the airport, pack your bag so that all items requiring extra screening are easily accessible and separate from the rest of your items.

It is also important to arrive to the airport early. This will allow you more time to go through airport security as the security process can be time-consuming. Preparation is key as any delays could potentially cause you to be denied boarding.

During the process, politely explain that you are aware of the new TSA electronics security requirements and answer any questions that the screener may verbally ask you during the process. This will help speed up the process since the screener already has an understanding that you know the requirements and can quickly complete the screening process.

Examples of Delays

One of the most notable delays due to the new TSA electronics security requirements occurred when a man was removed from a Baltimore flight in August 2018; the man merely wanted to read his laptop’s manual before putting it in the plastic bin for screening. Others have encountered delays after having their electronics confiscated due to one factor or another, such as their laptop not being able to power on for proper screening.

In 2017, a woman was also denied boarding after her bag was found to contain a Samsung Galaxy Note 7. This delay was due to the new requirements that prohibit Galaxy Note 7 phones on any flights, but it has since been revised to include all lithium-ion batteries being carried on an airplane.

Other Recent Changes to Security Procedures

The TSA has also implemented other changes to the security process. All liquids, gels and aerosols within carry-on bags must now meet the 3-1-1 rule; this requires them to be placed into 3.4 ounce containers which need to be placed within a one quart clear plastic zip-top bag and put into the bin. Additionally, anyone who has a passport from certain countries may also undergo additional screenings.


It is important for all travelers to be aware of the latest TSA electronics security requirements. By bringing electronic items to the airport that are both approved by the TSA and meet their guidelines, travelers can significantly reduce their chances of experiencing any potential delays. Properly following the TSA security requirements, arriving at the airport early, and being prepared are all ways to ensure that the airport security process goes as smoothly as possible.

Black Combination Alarm System

Airport Screening Processes

Traveling can be a stressful experience, especially when you have to navigate the airport security process. Navigating these processes is all about preparing for the screening process, understanding what is and what is not allowed, and having an understanding of the latest regulations. One of the most important aspects of travel security is understanding the TSA guidelines for carrying electronic items.

The Transport Security Administration (TSA) has made several changes to electronic item screening processes and passengers need to be aware of the new protocols. Knowing what’s required of passengers and any changes that may have been implemented will help travelers get through the screening process more efficiently.

TSA Requirements

TSA security protocols generally require travelers to present acceptable identification, remove items to be scanned separately, and place liquids in a quart-sized plastic bag. In addition, travelers are required to remove their shoes and belts and place them into separate bins.

New TSA security requirements require travelers place larger electronics, such as tablets and e-readers, into separate bins. This can become confusing, especially if travelers are not aware of the new guidelines.

Potential Confusions

The expanded screening protocols might cause confusion for uneducated travelers who don’t understand the new guidelines or haven’t taken the time to read the instructions. This can potentially slow down the screening line if the TSA agents need to review the bag or remind the traveler of the guidelines.

For busy travelers, such as large families with several children, understanding and following the TSA guidelines can be challenging. Families with multiple items, laptops, tablets, and e-readers have to instruct each item to go through its own separate X-ray scanner.

Potential Benefits

However, for travelers who make a point to read the TSA guidelines ahead of time and follow the TSA protocols, the new electronic item rules can save time and make the screening process smoother. By having all the items already in the correct bins, there won’t be any need to stop the line and review the bag.

Best Practices

Travelers should give themselves ample time to get to the airport and use their time wisely while they are there. Taking just a few moments to understand the TSA policies can make all the difference when going through the screening process.

It’s important to stay informed about the latest regulations and updates to TSA screening policies. Travelers should also pay attention to the signs that are posted in the airport, as they may contain important information regarding the security procedures.

Bella Tai

Prohibited Items

When flying, ensuring that all electronics are secure and meet TSA security requirements is critical. Here are some guidelines to follow when bringing electronics on an airplane:

Large Electronics

Larger electronics such as laptops and larger tablets must be removed from their carrying cases and placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening. This includes laptops, tablets, e-readers and other larger devices. Power cords, cables, and mice should also be removed and placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening.


Smartphones and other small electronics such as cameras, DVD players, and portable gaming systems are permitted in carry-on luggage and do not need to be placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening. For added security, many airports now check all electronics using hand-held scanners and will sometimes require the devices to be turned on in order to confirm their authenticity.

Battery-Powered Devices

Battery-powered devices such as hoverboards, electric scooters, and drones are prohibited in all forms of luggage due to potentially hazardous lithium-ion batteries. These devices are typically automatically removed from luggage during the screening process and can be possibly confiscated.


Electronic Cigarettes and vaporizers are prohibited in carry-on and checked luggage. While these devices may not contain combustible materials, their lithium-ion batteries and other sensitive materials could interfere with airport security systems.


Aerosol containers of any kind are prohibited in carry-on luggage, but may be allowed in checked luggage if within size and quantity limits. This includes shaving cream, hairspray, mousse, aerosol sunscreen and bug sprays.


Liquids greater than 3.4 ounces such as shampoos, cosmetics, and food items must be checked in luggage. All liquids must be in a secure, leak-proof container and placed in a clear plastic bag that contains no more than one quart of liquid.

Green Leafed Plant

Banned Devices On Board Planes

As a traveler, I’m sure you are aware of the importance of adhering to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security requirements when boarding a plane. To ensure safety of all air travelers, the TSA has implemented new security guidelines to limit carry-on items that may be used to conceal dangerous items or be used to hijack planes.

Examples of Banned Devices

The TSA regulations forbid passengers from carrying any electronic device that includes exterior hard drives or USB drives, drones, radios, memory cards and power banks with lithium batteries on board the plane. I understand that this might be inconvenient for some of you, however, it will ultimately provide enhanced security.

Strict Regulations

According to TSA regulations, passengers are not allowed to bring any of these items on board the flight except in cases where they are travelling with medically necessary items. Passengers caught violating these policies may be fined and/or banned from flying with the airline in the future.

Tips for Compliance

As a traveler, I always make sure to plan ahead and visit the TSA website to check out the items that I cannot bring on board the plane. Additionally, I also check with my airline’s specific guidelines to ensure I stay compliant with the TSA regulations. This not only prevents me from any delays, fines or getting banned, but also provides enhanced security for me and other air travelers.

Apart from keeping track of the TSA’s regulations, I also ensure advance research before boarding a plane. This includes knowing the items that can be brought onto the flights such as food, drinks, reading material and personal items. Being aware of what is permissible and what are not, is the key to preventing any issues with the TSA and ensuring smooth travels.

TSA electronics security requirements

Special Considerations For Electronic Devices In Checked Bags

There are certain regulations and considerations travelers must take into account when packing electronics in their checked baggage for flights. One of the most important things to keep in mind is the TSA’s regulations for packing electronics in checked baggage.


One of the primary considerations travelers must make when packing electronics in their checked baggage is the type of device that is going to be screened. According to the TSA, travelers should place laptops in their checked baggage to be screened separately.

Lithium-Ion Batteries

In addition to laptops, travelers must also think about the type of powered device they bring in their checked baggage. All lithium-ion batteries must be removed from laptop computers and individually secured and packed to avoid any potential damage to the device and protect against fire.

Large Electronic Devices

Batteries, as well as other larger electronic devices, such as cameras, game consoles, and other electronics, should also be removed from the checked bag and placed in a separate bin for x-ray screening. This is necessary to properly examine these items and ensure they are free of hazardous material.

Electronic Medication Devices

TSA also requires that individuals declare their electronic medical devices at the checkpoint for extra screening if necessary. For example, a passenger traveling with an insulin pump may need to place the pump in its own separate bin and provide TSA officers with additional information about the device.

As a result, it is critical to know the security guidelines for electronic devices in checked bags and to plan ahead to ensure a smooth travel experience. Knowing the right packing procedures and declaring medical devices to TSA staff can help travelers pass through security more quickly and efficiently.

Old fashioned room interior with round table hanging red lampshade picture on wall and vase with dry flowers in corner

Safe Packing Tips

When flying with electronics, it’s important to take the time to ensure everything is packed properly to make the inspection process go smoothly and quickly. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing for your trip:

Place Laptop, Tablets, and Battery-Operated Devices in a Separate Container

: This allows TSA agents to quickly and easily locate, inspect, and clear them. By keeping all of your electronics in one visible place, it will make their job easier while also making it hassle-free for you.

Pack all Electronics in Clear Plastic, Zippered Bags

: According to the TSA, travelers can bring electronics with them if they are placed in a transparent, one-quart plastic bag. This eliminates any need for agents to open cases or containers that may contain other items.

Remove Electronics from their Cases and Keep at the Top of Your Luggage

: This prevents any potential damage from occurring if the bag is placed on the conveyor belt. It also makes it easier for agents to identify your electronics and quickly inspect them.

Remove all Printers, Digital Projectors and Other Similar Devices from their Cases

: These items often contain screws and other small pieces that need to be checked. By taking them out of their cases, it ensures that nothing is missed during the inspection process.

Place any Cables, Cords, and Chargers in a Separate Container

: This allows the TSA agent to easily identify and inspect them. It also helps to keep everything organized and neat when they’re placed in a separate bag.

Keep Electronic Devices Charged and Powered Up

: This allows agents to properly test electronics that may require an energy source to check them. By keeping your devices charged, you can help ensure that your inspection goes smoothly and quickly.

Check with the TSA Website Before Traveling

: Each year, the TSA publishes a list of items that are prohibited and allowed. This includes electronics as well. By checking the list prior to your trip, you can be sure that everything you’re taking is in compliance with the rules.

Black and Red Game Console

Consequences Of Noncompliance

Travelers must abide by the TSA security guidelines when bringing electronic devices on planes or else risk facing severe consequences. The most common penalty for noncompliance is a monetary fine of up to $7,500 per violation. Other potential penalties include additional investigations, such as searching through personal belongings. In addition, travelers may be required to relinquish electronic devices temporarily to be further investigated, or they could even face permanent revocation of their clearance to enter airports.

Example Of Recent Incident

Recently, a German tourist was fined $3,000 by the TSA after they found a device with a prohibited lithium battery. The tourist was already in the U.S., but had brought the device in with them on their flight. The incident highlights the importance for travelers to familiarize themselves with the TSA security requirements for bringing electronics on flights.

Possible Risks Of Noncompliance

When TSA security requirements to bring electronics on flights are not followed, the consequences can be far-reaching. Not only can it result in a delay of the flight departure due to further investigative steps, but it could also leave travelers as risk of further damages as a result of sensitive personal information being accessed. As such, travelers should be aware of the potential risks when they attempt to skirt the TSA guidelines.

Takeaway Advice From Airline Security Officials

Airline security officials suggest that travelers familiarize themselves with the TSA guidelines before packing their electronics for flights. Knowing the risk and limitations when it comes to lithium batteries on airplanes is especially important and can help travelers avoid any penalties. Furthermore, if travelers are unsure about an item that they’d like to carry on the plane, it’s best for them to contact their airlines ahead of time for further advice.

Turned-on Flat Screen Monitor

Frequently Asked Questions

What items are allowed through security?

When going through security at the airport, travelers are allowed to bring electronic gadgets such as laptops, tablets, headphones, and other small electronic devices in their carry-on luggage. The majority of these items can be kept in their bags as long as they pass through the X-ray screening.

Are headphones or other electronic gadgets not permitted?

Yes, headphones and other electronic gadgets are allowed through security. However, they must be separated from the bag during the X-ray screening to allow TSA agents to inspect them more effectively.

Do laptops with batteries over 100 Wh have to be removed from their bags?

Laptops with batteries over 100 Wh must be removed from the bag and inspected by hand. All laptop batteries must be disconnected during the inspection.

Are gaming consoles allowed through security?

Gaming consoles of any size, shape, or weight are allowed through security, but they may be subject to additional screenings.

Must laptop batteries be removed from their device when going through security?

Yes, laptop batteries must be disconnected from the laptop and inspected by hand. This is a necessary step in the TSA security screening process and must be completed before boarding the plane.

Will I have to show identification when entering the security check zone?

Some airports may require travelers to show a valid identification in order to enter the security check zone. This is typically done to ensure the accuracy of the travelers’ information in the TSA system.

What is the new rule regarding biometric information?

The TSA has released a new rule that requires travelers to submit their biometric information when going through security. This biometric information includes fingerprints, retina scans, and other types of identification that can help reduce wait times and enhance security.

Are tablets considered computers and subject to the same security requirements?

Tablets are not considered computers under the TSA security screening requirements. However, they may be subject to additional screenings depending on the type of device they are.

Are spare batteries allowed in carry-on luggage?

Spare batteries are allowed in carry-on luggage as long as they do not exceed the size, shape, or weight restrictions set by the TSA.

What should I do if my electronic device is flagged during the security check?

If your electronic device is flagged during the security check, you will be asked to remove it from your bag and submit it for additional screenings. You may also be asked to enlighten the TSA about the device’s contents.

Can I bring a smart suitcase or backpack with a built-in battery into the airport?

Smart suitcases or backpacks with built-in batteries are allowed through security as long as the battery does not exceed the size, shape, or weight restrictions set by the TSA.

Are electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, and other vaping devices allowed?

Electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, and other vaping devices are allowed through security as long as they do not contain any liquid nicotine solutions. All liquids must be placed in containers 3.4 ounces or smaller and placed in a clear, quart-sized bag.

Black Game Console on Wooden Surface

Additional Resources

At the TSA website, you can find the most up-to-date information about the security regulations for electronic devices, which include laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices that are larger than a cellphone. As part of the TSA’s recently issued advisory to travelers, these larger electronics must be placed in separate bins or containers for X-ray screening when passing through airport security checkpoints.

Airports/Airlines Affected by Regulations

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have enforced the new regulations at International Airports including San Francisco, Denver, and Los Angeles; in addition, the majority of major airlines such as Delta, Virgin America, Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, and JetBlue have also implemented the new rules.

Airport Security Guidelines

In order to keep travelers safe and secure, travelers should follow the TSA guidelines for any electronic devices, including laptops and tablets. These guidelines include:

  • Prior to entering a TSA security checkpoint, travelers should place their electronic devices into bins or containers.
  • The number of electronics that a traveler can bring with them is based on their airline provider’s policy for carry-on items.
  • Batteries in electronic devices must be charged before screening.
  • Approved TSA locks must be used when traveling to certain countries.
  • Electronic devices may be subject to additional screening.

Case Study

Manon, a 20-something college student, was traveling to LAX airport, with a laptop, tablet, and phone. When she went through security, she was surprised to find out that she had to place her laptop and tablet into separate bins for X-ray screening. She quickly complied and was able to get through security without any additional delays.

Manon’s experience shows that the new TSA regulations are being enforced strictly and the best way to ensure a smooth check-in process is to fully comply with the TSA’s rules on electronic devices. By following the guidelines and having all of her devices placed in separate bins, Manon was able to pass through and get to her flight on time.

Cup of Coffee on Table


Overall, the TSA electronics security requirements provide important guidelines to keep travelers and airport personnel safe. By following the procedures and protocols outlined by the TSA, travelers can help ensure their safety and the safety of everyone. It is important for travelers to understand the TSA rules for electronics security so that they can adequately prepare for their trips and confidently navigate the airport screening process.

Leave a Comment