List Of Things To Remove At Airport Security

Airport Security Guide: What To Take Out & What To Keep In?

Last Updated on Dec 19th, 2023 by Renu Dahiya, Leave a Comment

Have you ever wondered why you have to remove certain items at airport security? Imagine you’re standing in line, eagerly awaiting your turn to pass through the checkpoint. Suddenly, you find yourself removing your shoes, belt, and emptying your pockets. But why? Here in this guide, we unravel the mystery behind the items you need to remove at airport security. 

From liquids and laptops to jewelry and jackets, we delve into the fascinating reasons behind these regulations. So, fasten your seat belts, as we embark on a journey of discovery, arming you with the knowledge to breeze through airport security with ease and confidence. 

What To Take Out At Airport Security? 

Liquids, Gels, or Aerosols

When it comes to these substances, TSA liquid rules & guidelines mandate their separation from your other belongings. These items should be in containers of 3.4 ounces (100 millilitres) or less and fit comfortably in a one-quart-sized bag. It is recommended to transfer these items into transparent plastic bags, ensuring a hassle-free airport screening process. To help you navigate this requirement smoothly, here’s a handy checklist of examples that fall into this category:

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Perfume and cologne
  • Toothpaste and mouthwash
  • Lotion and creams
  • Hair gel and mousse
  • Contact lens solution
  • Alcohol or liquor bottles


Belts with metal buckles are likely to trigger the metal detectors at airport security checkpoints. As a result, you will generally be requested to remove your belt and place it in a tray for separate screening. On the other hand, belts with plastic buckles technically do not require removal, as they won’t set off the metal detectors. However, it’s worth noting that airport security may not immediately recognize the plastic buckle, especially if your belt is visible. 

For a seamless airport journey, we recommend wearing trousers or joggers that do not necessitate the use of a belt. This way, you can breeze through the security process without any hindrance.

Bobby Pins

When it comes to accessorizing your hair with bobby pins, it’s important to consider their impact on airport security. While a couple of bobby pins may go unnoticed, a substantial number—whether adorning your hair or held in your hand—can trigger the metal detectors at airport checkpoints.

To ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey, it is advisable to remove excessive bobby pins if you have more than two in your hair. This precautionary step minimizes the chances of setting off the metal detectors, streamlining the security screening process.

Rings & Other Jewelry

The metal detectors primarily react to magnetic metals, meaning that high-quality rings, necklaces, bracelets, and piercings made from silver, gold, or platinum generally do not require removal. However, if your jewelry is inexpensive and crafted from cheaper materials, it is likely to trigger the metal detectors. Additionally, bulky jewelry with substantial metal content may also set off alarms.

If you’re traveling with valuable jewelry, such as engagement rings, and have concerns about potential loss or damage during the security process, you have the option to request a private area for the scanning of your valuables. 


If your watch is made from cheap metals or is large and bulky, it’s advisable to remove it before going through security. Such watches have a higher chance of triggering the metal detectors. For valuable watches that you’re concerned about leaving unattended in a security tray, consider storing them in the inside pocket of your jacket or placing them securely in your carry-on baggage.

When it comes to smartwatches, they generally do not cause issues at security in airports. While specific airports may have varying rules, we have not come across cases where smartwatches trigger metal detectors. Unless explicitly asked to remove your smartwatch, it is typically safe to leave it on.

Wallet And Purse

In most cases, you can keep your wallet in your pocket without needing to remove it, as long as it doesn’t contain any metallic items. This ensures a smooth transition through airport security without the hassle of taking out your wallet.

However, due to their larger size, purses must be removed and screened separately. If you have concerns about leaving your purse unattended, consider removing any valuable items from it and keeping them in your pocket. Alternatively, you can stow your purse securely in your carry-on baggage to keep it out of sight.

Mobile Phone

When it comes to mobile phones and electronic devices, it’s important to be aware of the procedures at airport security checkpoints. At many airports worldwide, you will be asked to remove your mobile phone, as well as other devices like iPads, Kindles, and laptops, from your pockets and carry-on baggage. This is because mobile devices have the potential to trigger the alarm during the security check. If you want to know ‘Can you put a laptop in your checked baggage or not?’, check out our guide now.

To comply with the regulations, make sure to remove your personal devices and place them on the designated tray for scanning. This allows the security personnel to screen them efficiently and ensure the safety of all passengers.

Metal Plate

If you have metal plates or screws in your body as a result of a surgical procedure, it’s important to consider their potential impact on airport security. While the response may vary depending on the sensitivity of the metal detectors and the amount of metal present in your body, it’s advisable to be prepared.

To err on the side of caution, you have a couple of options. Prior to passing through the security checkpoint, you can choose to inform the security personnel about the metal implants in your body. This allows them to take necessary precautions or provide guidance during the screening process. 


In most instances, you’ll be asked to remove your shoes and place them directly on the conveyor belt for thorough screening. This applies to all types of footwear, whether you’re wearing sandals, sneakers, or boots.

To streamline the process and save time, it’s recommended to wear slip-on shoes. This allows for easy removal and avoids the hassle of dealing with laces or intricate fastenings. Slip-on shoes not only make the security check more convenient for you but also contribute to the smooth flow of passengers.

Suggested Read: Biggest and Busiest Airports in the US

What Can You Take Through Airport Security?

In the interest of expediting airport security lines, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows passengers to keep on certain items that don’t require removal.

  • You can continue wearing your glasses, hats, necklaces, earrings, and other small jewelry without interference. Gloves and other clothing accessories can also remain part of your airport attire.
  • In today’s times, the inclusion of face masks is a vital aspect of our travel routine. You are encouraged to continue wearing your mask as you pass through the airport scanner, prioritizing the health and safety of all passengers.
  • Remember, a few coins in your pocket pose no issue, but a larger amount, along with keys, may trigger the alarms. To maintain a seamless process, it’s best to keep these items to a minimum or stow them securely in your carry-on baggage.


Navigating through the lengthy lines at airport security can be a frustrating experience, often caused by confusion regarding which items require removal. Avoid earning annoyed glances from fellow travelers by familiarizing yourself with the fundamental principles of airport security. Enjoy a hassle-free journey through the airport!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you bring food through airport security?

As per the guidelines provided by the TSA website, passengers are permitted to bring solid food items with them on a plane, whether in their carry-on or checked baggage. However, when it comes to liquid and gel snacks, they are only allowed in carry-on bags if they adhere to the 3-1-1 rule. 

Q: Can I take money through airport security?

Before taking money through airport security for an international flight from the US, for eg. Chicago to Delhi flights, it is advisable to carefully examine the customs regulations of your destination country. For domestic flights within the US, there are no restrictions on the quantity of cash that you can bring along with you. 

Q: Can I wear a necklace through airport security?

Usually, you can keep your jewelry on at airport security as most types don’t set off metal detectors. However, larger pieces may trigger the alarm, so it’s best to remove them to avoid delays. 

Q: Can you wear earrings through TSA?

Removing earrings is not mandatory when going through airport security. However, if the metal detector is triggered during the scanning process, a TSA officer may choose to conduct a physical pat-down search as a precautionary measure.

Q: Can portable chargers go through airport security?

Chargers with built-in rechargeable batteries, like power banks, must be taken out of your luggage. You can carry them with you, and the TSA agent may request you to place them in a separate bin. Regular phone chargers and cords, on the other hand, are permitted in your checked baggage.

Q: Can you wear a hat through TSA?

Yes. Wearing a hat, including bulky headpieces like turbans, is permitted both on the plane and during TSA security procedures. 

We trust that this comprehensive guide has provided clarity to all your concerns regarding going through airport security smoothly. 

For any future travel-related queries or concerns, you can rely on the expertise of our dedicated team of travel professionals at MyTicketsToIndia. We are committed to promptly addressing all your queries and ensuring your peace of mind.


Speaking of MyTicketsToIndia, we take pride in being a premier flight-booking platform, specializing in affordable USA to India flights (and vice versa). Our friendly and knowledgeable travel agents are available round-the-clock to assist you with any inquiries you may have. So, you can reach out to us at any time without any worries.

About Renu Dahiya | View Posts

Renu Dahiya is a passionate writer who worships her profession. Her love for writing has encouraged her to pursue her career as a writer. Her friends call her a “travel worm” and always come to her to know some interesting traveling tips and destinations. Renu is a repository of knowledge about traveling who knows which place should be visited in which season. Oh yes, she is insanely in love with dancing too. Writer, traveler and dancer, a perfect combination! Without a doubt, she is a complete package.

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