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Helpful Hints for Holiday Travelers

Significant Travel Days

In preparation of the upcoming holiday travel period, passengers are reminded about the steps they can take to prepare for security screening at the checkpoint to help streamline the process for themselves and for other travelers.

Holiday Travel ChecklistHoliday Traveler's Checklist

Improvements for Holiday Travel

  • TSA Pre✓™ Expedited Screening: This program prescreens individuals - traveling on participating airlines out of select airports - who volunteer information about themselves prior to flying in order to potentially expedite the screening experience. At the checkpoint, participants may receive screening benefits including leaving on shoes, light jackets and belts.
  • Screening Procedures for Passengers 12 and Under: TSA has implemented modified screening procedures for passengers 12 and under.that allow such passengers to leave their shoes on through the security checkpoints.
  • Screening Procedures for Passengers 75 and Older: TSA has implemented modified screening procedures for passengers 75 and older. Changes are similar to screening procedures for passengers 12 and under and improve screening by better focusing resources on passengers who may be more likely to pose a risk. 
  • TSA Cares Helpline: Travelers with disabilities or medical conditions may call 1-855-787-2227 toll free with questions about screening policies and procedures as well as what to expect at the security checkpoint. When a passenger calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide assistance either with information that is relevant to the passenger’s specific need or the passenger may be referred to disability experts at TSA.  
  • Traveling with Snow Globes: Snow globes that appear to contain less than 3.4 ounces (approximately tennis ball size) will be permitted if the entire snow globe, including the base, is able to fit in the same one clear, plastic, quart-sized, resealable bag, as the passenger’s other liquids, such as shampoo, toothpaste and cosmetics.

Additional Information:

 The 3-1-1 Policy for Liquids, Gels, and Aerosols
Liquid explosives still pose a threat and for that reason TSA limits the amount of liquids passengers can safely carry through the security checkpoint. This limitation applies only to carry-on bags. Larger quantities of liquids, gels, and aerosols can be safely packed in checked baggage.
Here are the rules:

  • 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less for all liquids, gels and aerosols; placed per container in a
  • 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag to hold all small bottles;
  • 1 bag per passenger placed in a screening bin

Larger quantities of breast milk/baby formula and medically necessary liquids are permitted but must be presented to an officer for further inspection. For more information on traveling with medically necessary liquids, click here.

Items that are purchased after the security checkpoint have been prescreened and can be taken on the plane.

Traveling with Food or Gifts
When it comes to bringing items through checkpoints, we've seen just about everything. Traveling with food or gifts is an even bigger challenge. Everyone has favorite foods from home that they want to bring to holiday dinners, or items from their destination that they want to bring back home.

Not sure about what you can and can't bring through the checkpoint? Here's a sample list of liquid, aerosol and gel items that you should put in your checked bag, ship ahead, or leave at home if they are above the permitted 3.4 oz.

  • Cranberry sauce
  • Cologne
  • Creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, etc.)
  • Gift baskets with food items (salsa, jams and salad dressings)
  • Gravy
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Lotions
  • Maple syrup
  • Oils and vinegars
  • Perfume
  • Salad dressing
  • Salsa
  • Sauces
  • Snowglobes
  • Soups
  • Wine, liquor and beer

You can bring pies and cakes through the security checkpoint, but please be advised that they are subject to additional screening.

While wrapped gifts are not prohibited, if a bag alarms our security officers may have to unwrap a gift to take a closer look inside. We recommend passengers wrap gifts after their flight or ship them ahead of time, to avoid the possibility of having to open them during the screening process.

Please note that items purchased after the security checkpoint have been prescreened and can be taken on the plane.

My TSA mobile applicationThe MyTSA App
To provide passengers with 24/7 access to the most commonly requested TSA information on their mobile device, TSA has developed the MyTSA mobile application. No matter where you are, you’ll have easy access to information you need to get through security and onto the plane safely and smoothly. Learn more.

Latest revision: 22 November 2013