Not Just Liquids: TSAs New Rules
In April, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) introduced a new rule for screening carry-on baggage.
Electronics – The new rule is that you now must remove all electronics bigger than a cell phone (more than 4 inches by 6 inches) from your baggage and place them in their own bin for X-ray screening. This includes:
- Handheld game consoles
- DVD players
- Cameras and battery-powered accessories
- Video projectors
- Laptops still need to be removed from your bag, too.
Food – TSA may also ask you to remove any food or powders from your carry-on to help with the bag check process, so you should be ready to do so just in case they ask. Any container of powder of 12 ounces or more will have to be X-rayed separately or inspected by hand, and if TSA officers consider the substance to be dangerous or unidentifiable, you’ll have to throw it away or move it to your checked bag in order to board the plane. To avoid having your belongings thrown out, the TSA is encouraging travelers to place powder substances of more than 12 ounces in their checked luggage. Baby formula, medicines, and human remains will all be considered exempt from the rule. (Note: it is illegal to transport human remains without the proper documentation through international borders.)
The change is partly because of a plot to blow up an Etihad Airways plane in Australia last July. That foiled plot “contributed to the current focus on powders,” a TSA official told CNN. Though, the representative was sure to mention that devices containing powder explosives have always been on the organization’s radar.
Many international airlines have already placed heavier scrutiny on powders due to that plot, according to TSA spokesman Michael England.
On a recent outgoing international flight through Miami (May 2018), I didn’t know about the new food & powder rule, and of course I had snacks and also green drink powders, I did not remove all of my food and powders as this would have seriously held up the line, so I left everything in my carry on and of course got flagged. Thankfully, I had not even opened my green drink powder, so it didn’t get thrown out. So on my next flight (incoming international through Houston Aug 2018), I had everything separated and ready for easy removal; of course this time it was not required to remove.