Passenger Checkpoint Screening

CAS passenger checkpoint staff is committed to delivering world-class security and world-class customer service to the flying public.

CAS Divesture officers, stationed at the front of the passenger checkpoints, will advise passengers on preparations to the screening process to make your trip as efficient and comfortable as possible. Please keep in mind the following:
  • Remove keys, loose change, mobile phones, pagers, and personal data assistants from your pockets and place in your carry-on.
  • Remove laptops from your bag or use a “checkpoint friendly” laptop bag. Information available at
  • Remove all coats and jackets for X-Ray inspection.

For more information on how to make your trip efficient and comfortable please visit
Many of the checkpoints at SFO utilize the advanced imaging technology or AIT. At SFO we utilize the millimeter wave technology, for information on this technology visit Please keep in mind the following at these checkpoint locations:
  • Before you go through this technology, we strongly recommend removing ALL items from your pockets and certain accessories that you might be wearing, including your wallet, belt, bulky jewelry, money, keys, and cell phone.
  • To avoid the chance of leaving any of your personal items behind, we recommend that you place them in your carry-on bag prior to entering the checkpoint.
  • At SFO we utilize the new software that has eliminated passenger-specific images. Instead, the software on the machine automatically detects potential threat items and indicates their location on a generic outline of a figure that will appear on the monitor attached to the AIT unit.
A primary goal of CAS is to treat all passengers and their belongings with courtesy, dignity, and respect during the security screening processes. CAS ensures that all locations have a Supervisor that oversees the screening operations. At every passenger checkpoint location in San Francisco International Airport (SFO), multiple cameras capture screening procedures and screener-customer interactions. To ensure the highest level of security and customer service, these cameras are monitored by TSA and SFO from state-of the-art Operations Centers, staffed 24 hours a day. CAS has also established procedures to minimize the intrusiveness of the screening process for passengers.

Private Screening - Your screening may include pat-down inspection. At any time, you may request a private area for your personal screening. The private area will either be a separate room or an area out of the view of the general public.

Same-Gender Screening - If you are asked to undergo additional screening, you will be provided a screener of the same gender except in extraordinary circumstances. In some cases you may have to wait for a screener of your gender to conduct the screening. You will be advised if the wait will be more than a few minutes.

Private Baggage Screening - If it is necessary to open your carry-on baggage, CAS will make every effort to do so discreetly. Please make sure that you are facing your belongings when a bag search is being conducted. CAS recommends that you think carefully about what private items you place in your carry-on baggage since it may be opened and searched.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a variety of reasons why you may undergo additional screening, which are related to maintaining the safety and security of our flying passengers.
In an effort to concentrate resources on detecting explosive threats, TSA no longer bans common lighters in carry-on luggage as of August 4, 2007. Torch lighters remain banned in carry-ons. You may bring one book of safety (non-strike anywhere) matches in your carry-on baggage or on your person. You may not pack and bring matches or lighters in your checked baggage because of safety regulations. For more information, please visit the TSA website at
Because of federal laws and operational considerations, CAS cannot return any prohibited items left at the passenger checkpoint (which are considered to have been voluntarily abandoned).
Passengers may always request a private screening.
There are a variety of reasons why you may be directed to additional screening. We ask your patience in completing this process to ensure the safety and security of all passengers.
Prohibited items include weapons, explosives, incendiaries, and include items that are seemingly harmless but may be used as weapons (so-called “dual use” items). For a detailed list of prohibited items, please visit the TSA website at The prohibited items list is not intended to be all-inclusive and is updated as necessary. To ensure travelers' security, Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) may determine that an item not on the Prohibited Items List is prohibited. Also, please note that some dangerous items are illegal in certain states and passengers will be subject to state law. It is a passenger’s responsibility to be aware that origination and destination cities may have local laws prohibiting the possession of these items.
To assist persons with disabilities or medical concerns, CAS follows the TSA guidelines. For more on these guidelines, please visit the TSA website at
CAS policy is that we are not responsible for items lost at passenger checkpoints, which are public areas. All items left behind at passenger checkpoint areas are logged by CAS personnel and turned over to CAS lost and found at the end of every shift. Contact numbers for these departments are:

San Francisco International Airport (SFO):
United Airlines – (650)-874-7242
American Airlines – (650) 877-6121
All other airlines, contact SFO – (650) 821-7014

Note: For reference, if you find that your property has been lost at a passenger checkpoint, please notify a CAS supervisor immediately before leaving the checkpoint area. CAS will take action to help you recover your item(s), including reviewing video of the passenger checkpoint area.
Under certain circumstances, CAS will pay the fair market value of items damaged during the checkpoint screening process. For more information, please click here.
Please visit the TSA web site for more information on the AIT safety at At SFO we utilize the millimeter wave imaging technology.