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Yeg -> Sea-Tac -> Lax : Timing & TSA Questions

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
11 posts
25 reviews
Yeg -> Sea-Tac -> Lax : Timing & TSA Questions

I'm Cdn and have never flown internationally before so I need some guidance - and please be patient as most of these are probably really stupid questions haha. We are a family of 4 flying from edmonton to L.A with a connector in Seattle and all flights are with Alaska Airlines/Horizon. We have a 1 hr 32 min. layover in Seattle.

1. If we have been through "Pre-Check" in Edmonton, do we have to go through the TSA & Customs/Immigration security at SEA-TAC all over again?

2. After we get off our first flight, do we have to go get our luggage from baggage claim and then check it in again or do luggage handlers take our luggage off the first plane and put it on the 2nd one? Or is there some other special place that we have to retrieve our luggage from?

3. It looks like we'll arrive on Concourse C and Depart to LAX on Concourse D. With only 92 minutes, do we have enough time to get from one gate, through security again - if we have to, grab luggage - if we have to, then to the other gate?

4. I have now watched just enough videos of what it's like to go through TSA checks to be sufficiently terrified of these people, mostly terrified of what they are going to do to my children - my son (11 yrs old) has a metal dental device that is cemented into his mouth, this will most likely cause an alarm to go off - are they going to check inside his mouth??? I mean, they're going to be putting their hands all over my childrens private parts so why not his mouth too?

5. Am I allowed to bring liquid gel Advil pills for migraines in carry-on? Approx. 5 pills.

6. Are the gloves that the TSA's use latex? Do they have powder in them?

7. Our travelling situation is very unique as my son is from a previous relationship and the consent to travel docs list only myself as the person allowed to take him across the border. Also, my other ex (father of my youngest) is travelling with us and because we are "seperated" with no standing orders both my ex and I must cross international borders together with the youngest, if there are issues with any of us at the TSA checkpoint then it is imperative that all 4 of us stay together - will the TSA force any of us to abandon eachother if one has cleared the checkpoint and another hasn't?? If the answer to this question is unknown, who should I call to find out?

Thank you in advance for any and all advice!!! Had I known this trip would be this complicated I would have never ever booked it - this will definitely be the last time we attempt a trip to the US lol.

Seattle, Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle
Level Contributor
5,371 posts
1. Re: Yeg -> Sea-Tac -> Lax : Timing & TSA Questions

1. No. At SEA everything will take place "airside" or inside security. Just give yourselves enough time at YEG for the security yoga.

2. No. If you have hand-carry luggage that doesn't fit in the (small) overhead bins on board, you can give it to an attendant as you board the plane, then retrieve it off a cart when you get off at SEA.

3. Yes, you have enough time. Don't assume you'll be departing from the D gates, it can change day by day. But Alaska moves thousands of people daily from Horizon to "mainline" flights, and hardly ever loses anybody.

4. No. Just say "dental implant" and you'll be fine. Lots of kids fly with braces.

5. Yes.

6. Don't know - ask if it comes up.

7. You're probably fine, but phone if it makes you more comfortable.

Level Contributor
3,790 posts
48 reviews
2. Re: Yeg -> Sea-Tac -> Lax : Timing & TSA Questions

1)You will do all Immigration and Customs checks at YEG - you arrive at SeaTac as domestic connection.

2)If you have booked this trip as one journey, using the same ticket - your bags will only meet you again at LAX. You will check in at YEG, take your bags with you to do Immigration and Customs and then place them on the belt to be put onto the airplane. Then you will do Security.

3)When you arrive in ST you simply take your hand baggage and go to your next departure gate. Seattle has a transit system that moves you around if necessary


When you arrive at LAX - you will collect your hold luggage there.

4) Stop watching stupid youtube videos - TSA is there to do a job, they do not want to molest your children. Be prepared to take any electronics out of your bag, don't have any liquids of over 100mls (and put the ones you have into a meduim sized ziploc) and be ready to remove your shoes.

5) that will be no problem at all

6) I have never noticed or cared.

7) TSA will not separate you and if there are any issues with custody or parental orders - it is the USA Immigration people that will be involved (in Edmonton)

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
10,857 posts
95 reviews
3. Re: Yeg -> Sea-Tac -> Lax : Timing & TSA Questions

4. Stop watching these ridiculous videos. I have taken my children through many checkpoints and nothing has ever happened. Several of them have had braces, cemented retainers, expanders, etc., and they've never set off any alarms. I don't know why you think TSA is, "going to be putting their hands all over my childrens private parts". Where does that come from? It's not going to happen You are over reacting.

6. Blue latex gloves

7. Again, you are worrying about nothing. When you first enter immigration, you may go together, and that's when they will examine your travel documents. These are not monsters. Simply explain the situation if it's necessary.

The worst experience I've ever had with security at an airport was at Halifax. TSA is nothing compared to that.

Your trip is not complicated at all. You are just making it seem that way.

Edited: 2:23 pm, February 11, 2013
Level Contributor
14,786 posts
16 reviews
4. Re: Yeg -> Sea-Tac -> Lax : Timing & TSA Questions

I've never had a problem flying with my daughter (who is 15) and going through TSA checkpoints, although she does not wear braces. I'd guess the worst they would do is look in his mouth to see that there are braces there. They've never done a pat down on my daughter, and we fly a couple of times a year. I don't know if they are still doing those with kids as there's a new policy that kids under 12 don't have to take their shoes off. From the TSA website, it looks like they are trying to avoid it, but I'd guess it could still happen. They say they won't separate you from your children:


Remember, the TSA officers are not monsters, they're just people. I've never encountered one that was anything but reasonably pleasant to me. Of course, I don't argue with them either.

Garden Bay, Canada
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
Level Contributor
8,136 posts
85 reviews
5. Re: Yeg -> Sea-Tac -> Lax : Timing & TSA Questions

"Pre-Check" is a special security clearance program. What you have in Edmonton is immigration and customs pre-clearance. That is completely different.

No powder in the latex gloves.

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
11 posts
25 reviews
6. Re: Yeg -> Sea-Tac -> Lax : Timing & TSA Questions

Thanks everyone for your comments, they're greatly appreciated.

I'm sure the latex question sounds strange but my youngest has a severe allergy to latex and it leaves huge welts and burns on her, she wears a medi-bracelet for this (even bought a silicone one so she could wear it through the metal detector). I called TSA about this actually and they stated that if a pat-down is necessary and unable to be completed for any reason, including medical ones, then we can simple accept the fine and be escorted out of the airport - so at least there's an option which is relieving.

As for not being seperated, I now realize we'll have passed customs/immigration by the time we get to the TSA so nothing to worry about there :D

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
11 posts
25 reviews
7. Re: Yeg -> Sea-Tac -> Lax : Timing & TSA Questions

Oh yeah, and I'm definitely going to stop watching those stupid videos online cause they're just making me paranoid lol. Didn't know where else to check but googling "TSA and children" sure didn't help haha.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6,858 posts
8. Re: Yeg -> Sea-Tac -> Lax : Timing & TSA Questions

In Edmonton, you will deal with US Customs and Border Protection for immigration and customs pre-clearance and CATSA -- i.e. the Canadian counterpart of the TSA -- for air security screening. You should not encounter the TSA at all until your return trip (when you fly back from LAX?).

If something comes up that's a problem -- e.g. they're about to touch your child with latex gloves, or they're confused by the dental device -- please try to explain the situation clearly and calmly to staff. The videos you seen online are probably 1-in-a-million occurrences, and if you're expecting things to unfold that way you're going to have a level of fear and anxiety that's probably not constructive.

Edited: 5:14 pm, February 11, 2013
South Pole
Level Contributor
15,383 posts
37 reviews
9. Re: Yeg -> Sea-Tac -> Lax : Timing & TSA Questions

all this shows how, in a way, the terrorists have won.

they dont ever have to do another thing.



Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
11 posts
25 reviews
10. Re: Yeg -> Sea-Tac -> Lax : Timing & TSA Questions

Thank you MattinTO - absolutely wonderful help :D

@lien: I do agree with you. Since this trip is essentially to take the kids to Disneyland, I'll do what I have to do and hope it's worth it (I'll be a sheeple for a couple hours). I remember a time when you'd cross the border and the officials would say "hey kids, are these your parents?" and then off you'd go. Border security will never get easier, only more stringent. Who knows, maybe the way it is now will be the least invasive my children will ever know. Certainly, if there is ever another incident on the same level as 2001, a mere pat-down or body scan won't be nearly enough to convice officials to let you cross a border - I'd like to travel now, and go through security as it is now, before that increases to who knows what.