As citizens nationwide prepare to board airplanes and celebrate the holidays with family friends and loved ones, many are concerned about airport security clearance and how they can make their travel as simple and trouble free as possible. There are several holiday travel tips that passengers may keep in mind that will help reduce some of the stress associated with security clearance.
Due to the threat of terrorism, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) utilizes several safety procedures to ensure the safety of all passengers. Items of concern include packages, liquids, aerosols, and gels, and those listed on the TSA’s prohibited items list. All passengers should familiarize themselves with the list of prohibited items and travel accordingly. For other items, such as packages, liquids, aerosols, and gels, a few holiday travel tips will ensure you are not unduly hindered when accessing your flight.
As airports are on high alert for suspicious packages, you can save time by bringing unwrapped holiday gifts. This ensures that TSA workers may easily scan your packages without any false alarms or cause of concern. Bring gifts unwrapped then wrap them once you reach your destination. The TSA has instituted a 3-1-1 rule designed to help travelers pack items according to security standards.
The 3-1-1 rule means that liquids, aerosols, and gels must be packaged in a container weighing three ounces or less. The rule also applies to Christmas or holiday gifts. If you are traveling with a package that contains a Christmas gift consisting of liquids, aerosols, or gels, the package must weigh three ounces or less. It is best to have sent these items ahead of time so as not to cause unnecessary airport delays. Examples of liquid, aerosol, or gel gifts include beauty items such as lotions, creams, and perfumes.
The second aspect of the 3-1-1 rule is that all items must be placed in a one quart, clear plastic zip top bag. The last part states that only one zip top bag is allowed per passenger. This indicates that all jars or bottles containing liquid, aerosol, or gels must weigh three ounces or less and must be placed within one , one-quart clear plastic bag. The items in the bag not only apply to gifts but regular items such as toiletries, toothpaste, and shampoo. Keep in mind that passengers are allowed to purchase items at airports, if they make the purchase beyond the security clearance point.
Christmas and the holidays is a time when people often wear nice clothes or choose to adorn garments with special jewelry such as metal pins, holiday themed belt buckles, or other stylish jewelry. Keep in mind that these items may set off metal detectors and can cause passenger delays. Dress simply and plainly when traveling to avoid any unnecessary delays and keep all metals, jewelry, or other items that would potentially trigger a metal detector in your carryon bag. Heavy garments must be removed and scanned so keep this in mind and choose garments that are not cumbersome but rather easy to remove and put back on. The same is true of shoes since they must be removed. You may find it is best to leave the snowsuits or spike heels for another time and wear easy to put on tennis shoes or zippered jackets.
By traveling wisely and utilizing these holiday travel tips, you can reduce the risk of suffering unnecessary travel delays.
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA) : Prohibited Items List
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Flight Delays
- Travel: U.S. Department of State
- Planes, Trains, and Automobiles- Holiday Travel Safety Tips: FEMA
- Safe Travel: Rules for Carry On Baggage, Batteries and Lithium Batteries
- Homeland Security: Holiday Travel Tips