TSA reminds travelers to be ready for security this holiday

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National Press Release
Thursday, December 20, 2007

WASHINGTON - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reminds passengers to prepare before the airport for holiday travel. Leave gifts in carry-on luggage unwrapped and place laptops or other large electronics, including video game consoles and DVD players, in the security bin for screening. Travel tips are available at www.tsa.gov.

"Our highly trained security officers are there to help you reach your destination safely," said TSA Administrator Kip Hawley. "By coming prepared to the checkpoint, travelers can improve their own experience and get through the screening process securely and efficiently."

Security checkpoints at the nation's more than 450 airports have coordinated staffing and are prepared to accommodate the busy holiday travel season. Security officers see thousands of bags a day and must quickly determine whether or not a bag contains a possible improvised explosive device. Pack carry-ons in layers to help security officers better determine what is in a bag when they view it through the X-ray machine.

Limited liquids are allowed in carry-ons and TSA's 3-1-1 policy remains in effect. The policy allows passengers to carry on liquids, gels and aerosols that are three ounces or less, placed in a one-quart, zip-top bag, one bag per traveler placed in a screening bin. Larger quantities of medications are permitted in checked baggage. Exempted medications should be presented for further inspection.

Additional security tips:

  • It is essential to arrive at the airport early to allow time to park, check-in and process through the security checkpoint during peak travel periods.
  • Do not over pack bags.
  • Portable music devices, PDAs and other smaller electronics can remain in your carry-on.
  • Snow globes contain liquid and regardless of size are not permitted through the checkpoint.
  • Many holiday foods like cake and pie have characteristics similar to liquids, gels and aerosols. These items are permitted but may require further inspection.
  • 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.
  • 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.

To check wait times at your airport, for a complete list of items you can and cannot bring on board, and for information for travelers with special needs, visit www.tsa.gov.