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Exceptions to TSA Rules All Travelers Need to Know

A traveler walks past a newly-opened TSA Pre-check application center at Terminal C of the LaGuardia Airport on January 27, 2014 in New York City. Once approved, travelers can use special expidited Precheck security lanes. They can also leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, as well as keep their laptop and small containers of liquids inside carry-on luggage during security screening. The TSA plans to open more than 300 application centers across the country.

A traveler walks past a newly-opened TSA Pre-check application center at Terminal C of the LaGuardia Airport on January 27, 2014 in New York City. Once approved, travelers can use special expidited Precheck security lanes. They can also leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, as well as keep their laptop and small containers of liquids inside carry-on luggage during security screening. The TSA plans to open more than 300 application centers across the country. Trying to keep track of all of the TSA’s rules? Then you should know about the exceptions to the agency’s regulations | John Moore/Getty Images

Dealing with the Transportation Security Administration is one of the most stressful things about flying. The agency has authority over the security of everyone traveling in the United States. Which means  TSA officers are the ones scrutinizing your ID, double-checking your boarding pass, screening your baggage, and guiding you through metal detectors and body scanners before you’re allowed into the secure area of the airport.

We’re all aware the TSA is simply there to keep us all safe. But that doesn’t mean we don’t occasionally wonder why our liquid toiletries all need to be in containers that measure 3.4 ounces or less, orr that we don’t get impatient when we have to wait in a long line at the security checkpoint. (Perhaps waiting behind somebody who’s slow, or has decided to try to take something ridiculous through airport security.)

Keeping track of the rules is an important part of cooperating with the TSA and ensuring you get through security with enough time to catch your flight. We all know the basic TSA rules: You have to hand over your ID and your boarding pass to access the security checkpoint, you need to take off your shoes, remove your laptop from your bag, and separate your liquids (which need to be in small containers and corralled in a zip-top plastic bag).

But what you may not know is there are some useful exceptions to the TSA rules. Some of them apply only in specific circumstances and to specific people, but others are useful for anybody who knows that they exist. Read on to check out some exceptions to TSA rules that just about every traveler should know.

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