Flying has always been fraught with drama: Will your luggage arrive when you do? Will there be an unending wait to get through U.S. Customs on your return?

The drama continues, in new and different ways, but here are four important changes — three of them good, one annoying — that could affect your travel experience.

1. You and your luggage may arrive at your destination together. Mishandled baggage — consumers tend to call it “lost,” but this category is about bags that have temporarily lost their way — dropped to its lowest point last year since the Bureau of Transportation Statistics began tracking in 1987. For every 1,000 passengers, 2.7 had bags that went astray. The decline isn’t surprising, given that many people now carry on their luggage to avoid baggage fees. But there is also a concerted effort by the International Air Transport Association to encourage tracking among its 500 member airlines. Now it’s possible to track your bags using the American and Delta smartphone apps. Within the past year, Delta introduced RFID (radio frequency identification) technology that helps you track your bag. American has jumped on board, too.

2. Your way through airport security just got a little more complicated. Say hello to the new rule governing electronics at 10 U.S. airports (not including Kennedy or LaGuardia): You must take them out of your bag if they’re larger than a cellphone, the Transportation Security Administration has mandated. (This applies to those who do not have TSA Precheck, the expedited screening process.) The new Transportation Security Administration requirements mean big cameras, iPads (even the mini), e-readers and laptops must be out of your carry-on bag for screening and in a separate bin. Participating airports are Los Angeles, Idaho’s Boise, Colorado Springs, Detroit, Florida’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Boston’s Logan, Texas’ Lubbock, Puerto Rico’s San Juan, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

3. But security may be a little less complicated if you’re willing to pay a little more. Clear ( is another pay-for-it program that helps you get through the airport security process faster (including select terminals at Kennedy and LaGuardia, as well as Citi Field and Yankee Stadium). It is not TSA Precheck, but complements that program, says David Cohen, its chief administrative officer. Using biometrics that it collects at airport enrollment kiosks (fingerprints, face, irises), it verifies your identity, speeding you past the TSA document checker (the person who looks at you and your license or whatever ID you’re using). You still must go through security.

Clear isn’t in every airport, but you will find it in such places as Dallas; Denver; San Jose, California; San Francisco; Seattle and Washington, D.C.

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It costs $15 a month; the first month is free. For $50 you can add a family member; your children younger than 18 get it for free. If you’re a member of Delta SkyMiles loyalty program, it’s $99, and if you’re an elite flyer, $79. If you’re the top elite Delta flyer, it’s free. (Go to Delta’s Clear page for more info.)

4. Here’s an app that can save you time and won’t cost you a dime. It’s called Mobile Passport (, and it’s designed “to save people time at customs and passport control” when re-entering the United States, says Hans Miller, chief executive of developer and operator Airside Mobile.

It takes just four steps after downloading the free app (Apple or Android), and it involves entering your passport number, taking a selfie and setting up your profile. Then, when you return to the United States you use the “new trip section,” which includes the usual customs declarations questions. When you land, you hit send and, Miller says, you’ll have an encrypted QR code “that looks a lot like a mobile boarding pass.”

Once off the plane, you follow the signs for the Mobile Passport line, show your bar code and passport photo to an officer and maybe answer a question or two (such as how was your trip, or where were you born). In all, Miller says, it takes 17 seconds versus the usual 90 seconds — which makes it about five times faster.

Mobile Passport can be used at Kennedy and Newark airports, and 23 other U.S. locations, including the Port Everglades cruise ship port, and more than 2 million people have signed up for it.