When you go through the TSA security checkpoint, you know the drill – do this, do that, and don’t forget to remove everything from your pockets and put them into your bag before going through the scanners.
Not long ago, a reader sent us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They mentioned that several web pages quote the rule about removing everything from your pocket but never clarify if you’ve already removed your jacket, can you have items in THOSE pockets.
As a refresher, if you have TSA PreCheck, you can wear a light jacket through the scanner. However heavier coats and jackets have to be removed and sent through the scanner via conveyor belt. If you don’t have PreCheck, any coat or jacket must be removed. And in either case, you have to empty your pockets.
Anyway, going back to our reader’s question, my hunch was putting your stuff into your coat’s pockets would be fine, because your coat is going through the scanner just like your bag is. But our reader was right – I checked and there’s nothing that specifically says that’s OK; they never mention putting things into coat pockets, just bags. So our reply to them was that we didn’t know for sure, but it would be an excellent thing to bring up to AskTSA’s Twitter account.
Our reader wrote back and said they didn’t have a Twitter account and didn’t want to set one up just for that.
OK. So I decided to see what I could find out. With that, I Direct Messaged (DMed) AskTSA on Twitter:
Hi! I know if you don’t have PreCheck, you have to remove your jacket and empty your pockets before being screened. Can I empty my pants pockets into my jacket pockets, since that will go through the scanner anyway? Thanks!
Their response was short and sweet:
Yes, that’s correct. -Dom
I will readily admit that throwing things into your coat pocket instead of your bag will take roughly the same amount of time. But when it’s time to retrieve everything and put it back into your pockets? It’s going to be easier to rifle through an empty and relatively shallow coat pocket than somewhere in your carry on bag that may or may not be mixed in with whatever else you already had in that bag. So it will save you a bit of time on the other side of the scanner, when you’re getting yourself settled to continue on to your gate.
Feature Photo: TSA
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