Airports, airlines and TSA join together to educate travelers on how to prepare for holiday travel

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National Press Release
Thursday, November 16, 2006

WASHINGTON – The Air Transport Association (ATA), Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) and the Transportation Security Administration are informing the traveling public how they can prepare for security screening during the busy holiday travel season.

Passengers can greatly affect their experience at the airport by preparing in advance. This includes: Packing liquids, gels and aerosols in checked baggage whenever possible, using 3-1-1 for carry-ons, arriving early and ensuring they are not traveling with prohibited items.

For individuals who must carry liquids, gels and aerosols through the security checkpoint, it's as easy as 3-1-1.

  • All liquids, gels and aerosols must be placed in a 3 ounce or smaller container.
  • These containers must be placed in a 1 quart, clear, plastic, zip-top bag.
  • 1 bag per passenger placed in a plastic bin for screening.

The limitation on liquids reflects changes made after the foiled terror plot involving the possible use of liquid explosives in London on Aug. 10, 2006. In response, TSA immediately banned all liquids at security checkpoints. The ban was modified on Sept. 25 after extensive testing showed that small amounts of liquids, gels and aerosols did not pose a significant threat.

TSA Administrator Kip Hawley said, "By knowing the rules and remembering 3-1-1, travelers can make a big difference in TSA's ability to efficiently and effectively screen all passengers and their baggage. Each time a physical inspection of a carry-on bag is required, it not only slows the individual traveler down but the entire security line."

The 12-day Thanksgiving holiday period is traditionally the busiest of the year and ATA predicts 25 million passengers will take to the skies Friday, Nov. 17 through Tuesday, Nov. 28.

"Airports will be packed for periods of time over this Thanksgiving season and the best advice is to be prepared," ATA President and CEO James C. May. "The airlines have no greater priority than the safe and convenient travel of our customers and we will work with TSA and ACI-NA to ensure this happens."

Through posters at ticket counters, banners at airports, advertisements on parking shuttles, road signs, extra customer service staff, travel tips on each organization's web site and many other ways, the airlines, airports and TSA are educating travelers before they reach the security checkpoint.

"Through the combined efforts of airport and airline staff and the TSA, we're making an unprecedented effort to ensure that passengers have the information they need to get through security checkpoints efficiently this holiday season," said ACI-NA President Greg Principato.

Below are other tips travelers should know before they leave home this holiday season. A full list of tips and prohibited items is available at

Do not wrap gifts. If a security officer needs to inspect a package they may have to unwrap your gift. Please wrap gifts after arriving at your destination.

Pack smart. Bringing prohibited items to the airport will delay the screening process for you and other passengers. If you're not sure which items are allowed, check TSA's Web site for a complete list.

Arrive on time. Arrival time recommendations vary by airline and day of travel, so check with your carrier. You must have a boarding pass and valid government photo ID to enter the security checkpoint. Remember to give yourself adequate time to check your baggage and move through security.

Dress the part. Metal in your clothing may set off the walk-through metal detector. Pack coins, keys, jewelry, belt buckles and other metal items in your carry-on bag. Remember that all shoes must be removed and screened by TSA. Passengers also need to remove blazers, suit coats and bulky sweaters in addition to outer garments.

Film. Undeveloped film should go in your carry-on bag. Hand film that is faster than 800-speed to a security officer for physical inspection to avoid being X-rayed.

Think. Belligerent behavior, inappropriate jokes and threats will not be tolerated. Such incidents will result in delays and possibly missing your flight. Local law enforcement may be called as necessary.