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Transportation Security Administration

Holiday Travel: Make sure you’re checking it twice

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
http://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_home.aspx

By now, most travelers have their holiday checklists ready to help with the holiday cheer. The last thing that comes to mind (usually not until after arriving at the airport) is whether certain holiday gifts and foods are allowed through security checkpoints! Here’s a list, make sure you’re checking it twice to avoid any delays at the airport.

Download the MyTSA app

The app’s “Can I Bring my _________? ” feature enables you to type in a certain item to see if it’s permitted by TSA. It has more than 3,500 items in the database, many submitted by passengers. You will be sure to find holiday food items such as “eggnog”, “pumpkin pie”, and a “gingerbread house” or “candy canes”.

Wrapping gifts?

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 to place presents in gift bags or wrap gifts after arriving to avoid the possibility of having to unwrap them during the screening process. Another good option is to ship them ahead.

Check for gifts that do not belong in carry-on

Toys that look like weapons: A toy gun is prohibited in carry-on bags and must be packed in checked baggage. A plastic toy hand grenade or realistic replicas of explosives are prohibited in both carry-on and checked bags.

Sporting Goods: Novelty and toy bats and hockey and lacrosse sticks are not allowed in carry-on luggage. These items must be transported in your checked bag.

Foods that are liquids or spreads: These foods fall under the TSA's 3-1-1 policy on liquids, gels and aerosols. Each passenger is allowed to take as many 3.4 ounce or less sized containers that will fit in one sealed clear quart-sized zip-top bag – and no more than one bag per person.

Typically, holiday food baskets that contain items such as cranberry sauce, eggnog and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, etc.), jams and salad dressings, gravy, jellies, maple syrup, oils and vinegars, sauces, soups, wine, liquor and beer are over the 3.4-ounce limit and are not allowed.

Certain snow globes: TSA allows small snow globes (approximately tennis-ball size) in carry-on luggage when packed in a passenger's plastic, quart-sized, re-sealable bag with the passenger’s other liquids.

Traveling with Holiday Food Items

Remember to ensure that your food item follows the 3-1-1 liquids rules.

All food items must be screened and may require additional screening.

Do not wrap food items that you plan to bring through the security checkpoints as security officers may have to re-open them for closer inspection.

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

Lastly, don’t forget to check your boarding pass to see if there is a TSA Pre✓® indicator notifying you of eligibility of expedited screening for your flight!

Happy Holidays!

TSA Blog Team

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

I wish to offer my congratulations to Seatac TSA Checkpoint 2. I fly from Seattle regularly, and out of 6 different trips this was the FIRST time the document checker even KNEW what a TWIC was. Kudos to the training staff!!!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Wow, a new low, even for the blotter team!

Only ONE comment approved. Even considering the holidays, this is lame.

Are you all ineffective or unethical? Either no one is reading this blog, wasting tax dollars writing uninformative and boring blotter posts, or you aren't approving comments.

Which is it?!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...

"Are you all ineffective or unethical?"

Do they HAVE to chose just one? I'd like to think they're both.

Submitted by Marta Kroo on

My son has spent hours wrapping the Christmas presents he brought for us from the USA to NZ and has found all ripped open, with wrinkled papers stuffed over the boxes, having no TSA card or a note saying who did it and for what reason? If TSA is opening up wrapped packages in suitcases, inspectors should at least take effort placing a note into or a sticker onto the luggage saying...it has been inspected. Perhaps avoid tearing and completely wrinkling the papers, for goodness sake, it is Christmas! Be nice to people.

Submitted by Marta Kroo on

My son has spent hours wrapping the Christmas presents he brought for us from the USA to NZ and has found all ripped open, with wrinkled papers stuffed over the boxes, having no TSA card or a note saying who did it and for what reason? If TSA is opening up wrapped packages in suitcases, inspectors should at least take effort placing a note into or a sticker onto the luggage saying...it has been inspected. Perhaps avoid tearing and completely wrinkling the papers, for goodness sake, it is Christmas! Be nice to people.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I bought a mug as a gift and wrapped it in loads of tissue paper bafore putting it in a cardboard box and wrapping it up nicely. Can the machines see thru the tissue paper so that the TSA agents are aware that it is just a nice mug and not anything dangerous?

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA opened all my jars of honey ? What did they do to them? Don't know if i want them any more? Thanks

Submitted by Laurie Goette on

TSA clearly says to wrap AFTER getting thru security aka when you get to destination. Not difficult, just follow rules.