Harmless Items That May Trigger TSA Checked Baggage Search

We all know how to avoid packing obvious things that could cause TSA to physically search your bag, but sometimes it can still get highlighted despite your best efforts. Here’s what the TSA is looking for and how to properly pack your suitcases to reduce the chances of your bag being searched.

Your bag needs to go through a detailed X-ray scan, so as the New Creations article suggests, think about how your everyday items might look to someone looking for threats on an X-ray machine. The following list lists items that look like part of an explosive device and can trigger a TSA search:

  • Personal electronics
  • Hair dryers
  • Curling tongs
  • Electric shavers
  • iPod / Music Players
  • Connecting cables and wires
  • Battery chargers
  • Shoes (especially the outsole)
  • Books
  • Toiletries
  • Shampoo
  • Soap
  • Hair care products
  • Paper reports
  • Lotions
  • Perfumery
  • Food (peanut butter, tortillas, burritos, Reese cups, etc.)

This is not a complete list, but basically you have to think of “anything that has the density of liquid, gel, paper or soft plastic.” Knowing this, you can be more strategic about how to pack your registered suitcases:

The key is to pack your suitcase in such a way that anything that appears to be a trigger is physically separated from anything that might be mistaken for an explosive. This means that in our luggage we need to keep some distance between our consumer electronics and electrical devices and any of those things that have the same density as potential explosives.

Luckily, we can use our clothes to put things between them and provide physical separation. Obviously, in TSA sieving machines, the garment is not one of the components, so you can use your garment for the physical separation you want to speed up.

The author noted that this drastically reduced the likelihood that TSA would search his bags.

How To Pack Baggage That Flying Through TSA Security Without Opening It | New creations

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