Be prepared for security screening before you arrive at O'Hare International Airport. Check-in can be quick and stress-free when you plan ahead with tips from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The information provided below is from the TSA Travel Assistant website.
Everyone who travels by air goes through airport security checkpoints. These checkpoints are operated by Transportation Security Officers from the TSA. The checkpoints are there to make sure that terrorists cannot bring anything aboard a plane that would enable them to take it over or destroy it. These are called "prohibited items" and cannot be brought to a checkpoint, into the secure area of an airport, or aboard an aircraft.
Not only do all passengers go through checkpoints, their checked baggage is also screened. It is a good idea to prepare before arriving at the airport so that passengers move more quickly and efficiently through the security process. Here are some suggestions to help make the process as smooth as possible.
Dress the Part
There is no particular style or type of clothing that passengers should wear from a security point of view. Passengers are permitted to wear head coverings and religious garments during the screening process. Passengers may be directed to additional screening if their clothing (religious or otherwise) is loose fitting or large enough to hide prohibited items. For more information, click here.
In addition, certain clothing and accessories can set off an alarm during metal detector or advanced imaging technology screening and slow passengers down. If possible, avoid wearing clothing, jewelry, or other accessories that contain metal when traveling through the security checkpoints:
- Heavy jewelry (including pins, necklaces, bracelets, rings, watches, earrings, body piercings, cuff links, lanyards or bolo ties)
- Clothing with metal buttons, snaps or studs
- Metal hair barrettes or other hair decoration
- Belt buckles
- Under-wire bras
- Hidden items such as body piercings may result in additional screening, including a pat-down. If selected for additional screening, passengers may ask to remove their body piercing in private.
- Take metal items such as keys, loose change, mobile phones, pagers, and personal data assistants (PDAs) out of pockets and place in your carry-on baggage before going through security.
- All coats and jackets must go through the X-ray machine for inspection. These include, but are not limited to, trench coats, heavy winter coats, suit jackets, sport coats and blazers. Passengers who choose to wear an outer coat or jacket to the checkpoint will need to either place it in carry-on baggage or put it in the bin.
Individuals are permitted to wear disposable footwear during the screening process. The disposable footwear may be removed and placed into the individual's accessible property prior to exiting the screening checkpoint. In addition, TSA recently implemented modified screening procedures for certain eligible frequent flyers and for passengers 12 and under. Click here to learn more.
Liquid explosives remain a threat to aviation security, which is why 3-1-1 rules for liquids remain in effect. To learn more about rules for carrying liquids, gels and aerosols through security, click here. Gel-filled bras are permitted through security screening and aboard aircraft.
TSA Security Officers have to resolve any alarms that are detected at the checkpoint. Passengers who alarm during security screening will need additional screening, which could include a thorough pat-down.
Passengers can reduce the chance that they will need additional screening by removing all items from pockets – including metallic and non-metallic items such as keys, wallets, and jewelry –and placing in bins prior to being screened.
What Passengers Need
We encourage each adult traveler to keep his/her airline boarding pass and government-issued photo ID available until exiting the security checkpoint (children are not required to show identification). The absence of proper identification will result in additional screening. TSA encourages travelers to remember 3 simple steps to security:
- Have ID out
- Coats & Shoes off
- Laptop and 3-1-1 bag out
The absence of proper identification will result in additional screening. Children under 18 are not required to show identification.
Individuals who are accompanying passengers, such as a child or traveler with medical conditions, through the security checkpoint but are not flying should check with the airline for required documentation.
Do Passengers Need to Remove Their Shoes?
As part of TSA's risk-based, intelligence-drive approach to security, TSA recently implemented modified checkpoint screening procedures for certain passengers, including kids 12 and under and eligible frequent flyers, which may enable them to leave their shoes on during checkpoint screening. Click here to learn more.
All other passengers are still required to remove their shoes before being screened by a walk-through metal detector or advanced imaging technology. This includes all types of footwear.
TSA has determined that concealed prohibited and/or dangerous items in footwear remains a serious threat to aviation security. Transportation Security Officers will ask passengers to remove their shoes before entering the metal detector or advanced imaging technology machine. Passengers who do not comply with the request and do not remove their shoes prior to being screened will not be able to board their flight.