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Religious and Cultural Needs

Travel Assistant

Our general security considerations for religious or cultural needs allow you multiple options. If you do not want to go through the metal detector you may request a personal search (pat-down inspection) as an alternative. You may also ask the Security Officer for a private area for this personal search and will be provided a Security Officer of the same gender. If you refuse appropriate screening you will not be allowed to pass the security checkpoint and you will be unable to board your plane.

Loose Fitting Garments

You are permitted to wear loose fitting or religious garments during the screening process. You may be directed to additional screening if your clothing (religious or otherwise) is loose fitting or large enough to hide prohibited items. If you are directed by the security officer to proceed to additional screening, then you will undergo a combination of hand-wand screening and/or pat-down inspections that could include any portion of the body and head area that requires further examination.

At any time during the screening process, you may request that screening of your person or property take place in a private screening area. It is our policy that passengers should be screened by a Security Officer of the same gender.

Head Coverings

On August 4, 2007, TSA implemented revisions to its screening procedures for head coverings. TSA does not conduct ethnic or religious profiling, and employs multiple checks and balances to ensure profiling does not happen.

All members of the traveling public are permitted to wear head coverings (whether religious or not) through the security checkpoints. The new standard procedures subject all persons wearing head coverings to the possibility of additional security screening, which may include a pat-down search of the head covering. Individuals may be referred for additional screening if the security officer cannot reasonably determine that the head area is free of a detectable threat item. If the issue cannot be resolved through a pat-down search, the individual will be offered the opportunity to remove the head covering in a private screening area.

TSA's security procedures, including the procedures for screening head coverings, are designed to ensure the security of the traveling public. These procedures are part of TSA's multi-layered approach to security screening.

Religious, Cultural, or Ceremonial Items

Photo of a dagger

Religious knives, swords and other objects similar to the one on the right, are not permitted through the security checkpoint.  We advise you to place such items in your checked baggage. Check our permitted and prohibited list for more information.

You may request a hand-inspection from our Security Officers for your religious, cultural or ceremonial items. If the item is prohibited from the cabin of the aircraft you will be asked to place the item in your checked baggage. If the item is delicate, fragile or special handling is otherwise required please let the Security Officer know so that he or she can handle the item accordingly.

» Click here to learn more about the screening experience and how to be prepared.