Passengers encouraged to come to the airport prepared this holiday season

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National Press Release
Wednesday, December 20, 2006

WASHINGTON The Transportation Security Administration today urged travelers to plan ahead for air travel security procedures this holiday season.  The agency has created a Holiday Checklist to assist passengers as they prepare for the screening process.  By following a few simple guidelines travelers can help make passenger screening as efficient as possible. 

“The traveling public quickly incorporated new security procedures on liquids, gels and aerosols, which went a long way in ensuring Thanksgiving went very smoothly,” said TSA Administrator Kip Hawley. “The end of the year holidays present a new set of challenges and we’re asking the traveling public again to help us and use our Holiday Checklist when planning their next trip.”

TSA continues to encourage passengers to pack liquids, gels and aerosols in their checked luggage.  If travelers need to travel with small amounts of liquids in their carry-on then they should remember the 3-1-1 rule.  That is all liquids, gels and aerosols in 3 ounce or smaller containers, those containers placed in a 1 quart, clear plastic, zip-top bag and 1 bag per passenger placed in a bin for screening. For more details on 3-1-1 click here.

Additional tips include:

  • Do not over pack bags.  If security officers have to open them, closing overstuffed bags can be difficult and may result in that checked bag being delayed until a later flight.
  • Travel with unwrapped gifts.  If a wrapped gift sets off an alarm, TSA security officers will need to unwrap the gift to resolve the alarm.To minimize the risk of damage or loss, don’t pack fragile or valuable items in checked baggage. Take them with you in carry-on baggage, or ship them to your destination instead. Keep in mind that many holiday foods like cake and pie have characteristics similar to liquids, gels and aerosols.  These items are permitted but may require further inspection.  If you are not sure if an item is a liquid, gel or aerosol it is best to pack the item in your checked bag or ship it to your destination in advance.
  • When traveling with children, a discussion in advance of airport security may be helpful.  At the checkpoint, children will need to temporarily part with such things as blankets and stuffed animals, and older children need to know that any comment suggesting a threat to an aircraft or its passengers is taken seriously by TSA security officers.
  • Passengers are required to remove their outer coats and jackets for X-ray before proceeding through the metal detectors.  That includes suit and sport coats, athletic warm-up jackets and blazers.  
  • All footwear must be removed and placed in the security bin for screening.

For more tips on travel this holiday season, visit for the prohibited items list, advice for packing and information on what types of jewelry, shoes or clothing may set off a metal detector. TSA has also partnered with airlines and airports to make the Holiday Checklist available at airport ticket counters and on airline Web sites.