Travel to the United States

When you fly to, from or via the United States, special rules apply. If you are not required to have a visa, you will need an ESTA travel authorisation.

ESTA travel authorisation

Passengers from countries under the Visa Waiver Programme are not required to have a visa. However, they need to apply for ESTA travel authorisation to enter the United States.


Secure Flight programme

The Secure Flight programme of the United States government requires airlines to register some personal data at the moment of booking your flight. This Secure Flight data includes your gender, date of birth and your first and family name exactly as stated in your passport. We are required to pass this information of all our passengers to the United States’ Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at least 72 hours before departure.

TSA Pre Check

KLM is participating in the TSA Pre✓® (TSA Pre Check) programme of the US Transportation Security Administration. This is accessible for passengers departing from or travelling within the United States. If you want to benefit from TSA Pre Check on your connecting flight within the United States, you must always re-print your boarding pass upon arrival at the first US airport.

Once you have applied and have been approved to be a member of the TSA Pre Check programme, the TSA Pre Check logo or text “TSA PRE” will appear on your boarding pass. You will still have to undergo a quick security check at a dedicated TSA line, currently available at 200 US airports. However, you don’t need to remove your shoes, electronic devices, liquids, belts and light jackets.

Registrate and read more about TSA Pre Check ✓® 

Currently, it is not yet possible to enter your TSA Known Traveler Number online. Please contact the KLM Customer Contact Centre to add the number to your booking.


Advance Passenger Information

If you travel to the United States, we are required to collect various personal data. We recommend providing this Advance Passenger Information (API) as early as possible:

  • To your travel agent
  • Via My Trip
  • During online check-in, from 24 hours up to 1 hour before departure.
  • At a kiosk at the airport. If you depart from an airport where you can only check in at the desk, our staff will register the data on your passport.

The API data includes:

  • Family name and first name
  • Date of birth and gender
  • Passport number
  • Country that issued the passport
  • Passport expiry date
  • Nationality
  • Country of residence
  • Temporary address where you will be staying during your visit. This address must include the house number, street, city or town, abbreviation used for the state, and the postal code.


Baggage to and from the United States

As of 30 June 2018, on flights to and from the United States, powders and powder like substances may be carried in your hand baggage, but only in small amounts not exceeding 350 ml (12 oz) per item. Larger amounts must be carried in your check-in baggage. If there are any signs of tampering, the item is not allowed in either your hand baggage or check-in baggage.

You may always bring below-mentioned items in your hand baggage. However, these items may be checked on signs of tampering.
  • Baby food to be consumed during the flight
  • Medicines to be taken during the flight, provided you have a prescription or attending physician's statement
  • An urn containing ashes of a deceased person, provided it meets the requirements
  • Duty free items packed in a STEB bag

Because your check-in baggage might need to be inspected, you are not permitted to lock it, unless it's with a TSA approved lock. You can buy these locks at most suitcase stores.