November 21st, 2006 14:03 EST
311 Is The Only Way To Fly
At the Transportation Security Administration, our primary mission is to ensure the security of air travel. We use many layers to accomplish this, the most visible layers occurring when they go through the security line. TSA and our partners in law enforcement, airlines, and airports handle the security work but we depend on the public to be an active participant as well by being prepared when they arrive at the airport.
Passengers can have a huge impact in making the process go smoothly and quickly for everyone. Take a minute to learn the rules before going to the airport (www.tsa.gov). The new liquid rules are simple: put them in a checked bag or put travel size items in a baggie and put that in a bin at the checkpoint. 3-1-1 is the rule: containers three ounces or less, in a one quart zip-top bag, one per passenger.
There is serious science and security reasoning behind this process. It assures that a completed bomb is not brought through. Liquids (and everything else) sold after the checkpoint have a separate security system that allows them to be brought on planes safely.
Please respect the job our Security Officers are doing on your behalf. They use their training and experience to sort out threats among the busy flow of travelers. It is a demanding job and requires intense focus while working pleasantly with the public. The checkpoint is not the place to debate the merits of various security measures.
The discretion carried out by our 43,000 Transportation Security Officers may mean that passengers might occasionally encounter slightly varying decisions at security checkpoints. Our goal is common sense security. To avoid absurd situations resulting from a mechanical enforcement of the rules, TSA entrusts its Security Officers to make decisions based on their training and judgment.
TSA and travelers partner together every day to make the security process efficient. During the holiday period we ask for a little extra preparation and patience as our Security Officers focus their efforts on protecting you.