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How to Avoid Leaving Items Behind After a Security Screening

by Allie Moore

Mar 7, 2020

© Jorg Hackemann | Dreamstime

Tips / Safety

If running late for a flight and thus rushing through the security screening process or if you’re passing bins upon bins through the scanner, you may accidentally leave something behind. According to the Transportation Security Administration, officers find between 90,000 and 100,000 items left behind by travelers each month. TSA collects these items and keeps them for at least 30 days, but if you can’t be bothered to return to an airport to claim your stuff, here are a few tactics to ensure you’ll make your flight with everything you packed.

 

Use Fewer Bins

While some items like electronics require their own bins, try to fit as much as you can into your other bins. The more bins you use, the more likely you’ll forget something. Of course, confirm your full bin with the agent on staff first as if there’s too much piled on top, the scanners may not be able to screen everything effectively.

 

Name Your Stuff When You Put It in Bins

This may make you feel self-conscious if other travelers are within earshot, but saying words aloud makes it more likely for your brain to remember them and for you to remember to pick them up at the other end of the conveyor belt.

 

Bag your Smaller Items

Rather than tossing electronics or other individual items into bins on their own, group them together and bag them, if possible, so collecting them on the other side requires fewer hands and fewer things to think about.

 

Enroll in TSA PreCheck

Membership in this program allows travelers to keep most items in their luggage when passing through security, completely eliminating the risk of leaving something behind.

 

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