BOSTON – If you’re planning to fly on or before Halloween, here are a few tips from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to help address frequently asked questions that will help get you in the spirit without getting caught up in a web at the checkpoint.
Tip 1: Wear your Halloween-themed pandemic mask
We sure hope that everyone will be wearing a mask at the checkpoint this Halloween, but by that we are referring to masks designed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. They can be as colorful as you like—featuring pumpkins, candy corn, superheroes, scary witches or something spookier. Please note, however, that TSA officers will ask you to remove all masks momentarily—costume masks or pandemic masks—to help verify your identity when you arrive at the travel document checking podium. Since your Halloween mask may trigger an alarm, it’s best to slip that mask on after you finish going through checkpoint screening.
Tip 2: Costumes may result in the need for a pat-down
Our TSA officers enjoy the creativity of a good Halloween costume as much as anyone, but please keep in mind that a costume may trigger an alarm at the checkpoint body scanner, which could result in the need for a pat-down, so our recommendation is to consider putting on your costume after you pass through a security checkpoint.
Tip 3: Halloween props add to costumes, but about that pitchfork, witch’s broom and chainsaw . . .
It’s important to remember that realistic replica props that enhance a Halloween costume definitely add to the spirit of the holiday, but realistic replica weapons are not permitted through a checkpoint. Best to pack your replica scythes, pitch forks, chainsaws, brooms, butcher knives, axes, swords and the like in your checked bags. If you’re planning to bring replica explosives such as bombs or grenades in your checked or carry-on bag, we’ll need to treat them like they are real until it can be determined that they are just props. So do keep in mind that bringing along these weapon-like props are likely to slow you down at the checkpoint. Plus, you’re introducing the added risk that your checked bag may not make it on the flight.
Tip 4: It’s okay to feed your sweet tooth
Trick or treat? Treats!! There’s no limit to how much candy you can bring in either carry-on or checked baggage. However, if you were planning to wash it down with a pumpkin spiced latte, buy the latte after you finish going through security.
Tip 5: No need to travel in a New England fog
If you’re unsure whether an item should go in a carry-on bag, checked bag, either or neither, no need to be foggy about the answer. Download the free myTSA app to access the “Can I bring?” feature. Type in the item to find out where you should pack it. Or, send us your question via Twitter at @AskTSA.