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Transportation Security Administration

2018 Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Tips: Your Questions Answered

Friday, November 16, 2018
Thanksgiving Day

This holiday season will be a busy one. As announced earlier this week, TSA is expecting more than 25 million travelers to pass through security screening checkpoints nationwide from today to Nov. 26. That’s a 5 percent increase from 2017! So before you fly the coop to gobble down your favorite holiday meal, let us serve you a heaping helping of travel tips with all the trimmings. These tips will help ensure you have a smooth travel experience on your next flight.

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received through our social care team @AskTSA on Twitter and Facebook Messenger.

1. What to expect when traveling with food

@AskTSA

Know the rules: Please be aware that creamy and spreadable foods, like gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, jam and beverages must follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item, which must be placed in a 1 quart-sized, zip-top bag. If you are taking larger amounts, you’re more than welcome to pack these items in a checked bag. You don’t want to show up to dinner empty handed.

Solid foods, like dry stuffing, fresh cranberries, turkey, bread, baked potatoes, baked goods, pies, fruits and vegetables are allowed through the security checkpoint in your carry-on bag. You can also pack them in your checked bag.

 If you still have questions, use the “What Can I Bring?” tool to get your answers from soup to nuts. In case you are wondering, you can travel with your spoons and forks in carry-on, pack the knives in your checked bag!

pumpkin

And yes, for those of you who can’t wait until your pumpkin is in pie form, fresh pumpkins are allowed through our checkpoint and in checked bags!

2. Get TSA Pre✓®

Many savvy travelers will tell you that TSA Pre✓® can make your security experience as smooth as buttered mashed potatoes. TSA Pre✓® allows eligible travelers to receive expedited screening. In layman’s terms, it means you get through security quickly. For TSA Pre✓® travelers, there is no need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets. If you haven’t already, apply now! Individuals who obtained TSA Pre✓® five years ago are now able to renew their TSA Pre✓® membership online.

 TSA Pre✓®

If you have TSA Pre✓®, remember to make sure that your full name, Known Traveler Number (KTN) and date of birth are accurate in your reservation. Mistakes in entering this information are among the most common reasons members don't receive the TSA Pre✓® indicator on their boarding pass. If you still need someone to check your reservation, @AskTSA is here for you.

3. Have valid ID

Maybe your ID fell behind your aunt’s recliner while you were napping after a second helping or maybe it’s just expired and you’ve had a busy month. Either way, you may still be able to make it through our checkpoints and to your destination.

In the event you arrive at the airport without valid identification, you may still be allowed to fly. The TSA officer may ask you to complete an identity verification process which includes collecting information such as your name, current address, and other personal information to confirm your identity.If you're still not sure, get your fill of ID guidance.

4. Traveling with medicine

One of the more popular questions we get from travelers is: “Can I travel with my medication?” The answer is yes, with some qualifiers.

Travelers should know that both over-the-counter and prescription medications are allowed through our checkpoints. If you have liquid medications, they are exempt from our 3.4 oz liquids rules in carry-on bags. Our TSA Cares team are experts when it comes to helping passengers with disabilities or medical needs.

5. Get there with time

Make sure you give yourself more than enough time to park the car, check-in, get through the airport security checkpoint and onto your flight. Plan for delays that can occur any time from curb to gate.

Questions?

If you have any TSA-related travel questions, please send your questions to @AskTSA on Twitter and Facebook Messenger. We’re available to answer your questions weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends/holidays from 9 a.m. to 7p.m. ET. If you prefer to call or submit an online form, you can reach out to our contact center weekdays from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and weekends/holidays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Yes, that includes Thanksgiving Day!

For more holiday related travel tips, like packing personal items and traveling with family, children and pets, check out our 2017 Thanksgiving holiday travel tips blog.

Karen and Jon – AskTSA Team

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Comments

Submitted by Fix The TSA on

No comments have been approved for over ten days in the past three blog posts. How long do US citizens have to wait for their comments to appear on a govt website?

Submitted by FixTheTSA on

Has AskTSA removed blocks on US citizens who were unnecessarily and unConstitutionally preemptively prevented from reading and commenting the AskTSA Twitter account?

Submitted by Susan Richart on

"Has AskTSA removed blocks on US citizens who were unnecessarily and unConstitutionally preemptively prevented from reading and commenting the AskTSA Twitter account?"

Amazingly, yes they have been removed - apparently as soon as the person who took over the social media accounts realized that somebody, Bob Burns?, had illegally blocked several individuals, those blocks were lifted.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

"When the father inquired, the agent told him, right before touching his son’s crotch, that this sort of thing had become necessary due to drug mules using children."

I thought the TSA didn't search for drugs. Did the TSA screener lie to the parent or has TSA been lying to the general public for years?

http://thefederalist.com/2018/11/19/dear-tsa-please-stop-molesting-kids-...

Submitted by Genois Brabson on

Please allow me to share some advice especially for senior, and ill travelers. Don't leave an ill person alone, let security know if you must leave them. Be wary that even people you don't anticipate as a threat; could be when they determine you are vulnerable. Yell for help when necessary, be watchful, protect one another. The airport security could use our help especially when we notice something.

Submitted by West Cooper on

Susan sez - "

I thought the TSA didn't search for drugs.  Did the TSA screener lie to the parent or has TSA been lying to the general public for years?"

TSA does not look or search specifically for "drugs". TSA searches for possible threat items, such as Weapons, Explosives and Incendiaries. If during the course of searching for WEI, a TSO discovers "drugs", then local LEOs will be notified to address the situation. This is the same position that the agency has had since I have been here, any statement or action to the contrary is wrong.

Just for reference, the agency specifically states this here in a response to carrying medical marijuana - "Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but in the event a substance that appears to be marijuana or a cannabis infused product is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer."

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by The Original "RB" on

Submitted by Genois Brabson on Mon, 2018-11-19 11:39
Please allow me to share some advice especially for senior, and ill travelers. Don't leave an ill person alone, let security know if you must leave them. Be wary that even people you don't anticipate as a threat; could be when they determine you are vulnerable. Yell for help when necessary, be watchful, protect one another. The airport security could use our help especially when we notice something.

.................

Sadly, in the U.S. at least, it is airport security (TSA) that travelers have to protect themselves from.

Submitted by The Original "RB" on

Submitted by West Cooper on Wed, 2018-11-21 08:48
Susan sez - "

I thought the TSA didn't search for drugs. Did the TSA screener lie to the parent or has TSA been lying to the general public for years?"

TSA does not look or search specifically for "drugs". TSA searches for possible threat items, such as Weapons, Explosives and Incendiaries. If during the course of searching for WEI, a TSO discovers "drugs", then local LEOs will be notified to address the situation. This is the same position that the agency has had since I have been here, any statement or action to the contrary is wrong.

Just for reference, the agency specifically states this here in a response to carrying medical marijuana - "Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but in the event a substance that appears to be marijuana or a cannabis infused product is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer."

TSA Blog Team

..........................
So the TSA screener who was groping the crotch of the child was lying?

Submitted by Susan Richart on

West wrote, in part: "TSA does not look or search specifically for "drugs". TSA searches for possible threat items, such as Weapons, Explosives and Incendiaries." Blah, blah, blah, blah.

That's nice however you did not address the issue of the screener advising the father that the child had his genitals/crotch groped because "this sort of thing had become necessary due to drug mules using children." Care to address that, West?

Submitted by West Cooper on

Susan sez - "  Care to address that, West?"

I have indicated a number of times before that anyone that states TSA searches specifically for "drugs" is wrong, or mistaken. TSA searches for possible threat items (normally we refer to it as WEI - Weapons, Explosives and Incendiaries). IF "drugs" are found while searching for possible threat items, then TSA notifies local LEOs.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Susan Richart on

West Cooper wrote: "I have indciated a number of times before that anyone that states TSA searches specifically for "drugs" is wrong, or mistaken. TSA searches for possible threat items (normally we refer to it as WEI - Weapons, Explosives and Incendiaries). IF "drugs" are found while searching for possible threat items, then TSA notifies local LEOs."

You STILL have not addressed the issue of the screener telling the father that the child had to be groped because he could be a drug mule.

Submitted by The "Original" RB on

Submitted by West Cooper on Sun, 2018-11-25 11:01
Susan sez - " Care to address that, West?"

I have indciated a number of times before that anyone that states TSA searches specifically for "drugs" is wrong, or mistaken. TSA searches for possible threat items (normally we refer to it as WEI - Weapons, Explosives and Incendiaries). IF "drugs" are found while searching for possible threat items, then TSA notifies local LEOs.

TSA Blog Team

......'.''

So searching the crotch and genitals of a young child is a normal act at TSA?

Submitted by Anon on

When the father inquired, the agent told him, right before touching his son’s crotch, that this sort of thing had become necessary due to drug mules using children.
-----------------------

Where did that quote come from? I read the article. I don't see any exact quote for this. Did the writer actually hear the TSO say this? Did the father relay this second hand? C'mon guys, you can do better than second hand quotes accepted as gospel. Or, maybe you can't.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Anon wrote in part: "C'mon guys, you can do better than second hand quotes accepted as gospel."

The sentence was in quotes because it was excerpted from the article and not as a direct quote from an individual.

Submitted by Really on

Submitted by Susan Richart on Tue, 2018-11-27 11:24

Anon wrote in part: "C'mon guys, you can do better than second hand quotes accepted as gospel."

The sentence was in quotes because it was excerpted from the article and not as a direct quote from an individual
---------------------------------
Exactly! So now the information is actually third hand.