TSA offers a few “tricks” for those flying in costume this Halloween

National Press Release
Thursday, October 28, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) offers a few “tricks” in advance of Halloween to help air travelers successfully navigate airport checkpoints if they plan to show Hallows Eve spirit during their flight. TSA offers these tricks as tips that may lead you to the treat of a better travel experience.

Trick #1: Wear your face mask, covering mouth and nose

TSA requires travelers to wear face masks throughout all transportation networks within the United States, including at airports, onboard commercial aircraft, on over-the-road buses, and on commuter bus and rail systems through January 18, 2022.

Airline travelers should check with their airline for any additional inflight restrictions prior to their trip. For more information, check the CDC website for additional guidance. Exemptions to the face mask requirement for travelers under the age of 2 years old and those with certain disabilities, as well as civil penalty fines for noncompliance continue to apply.

TSA officers may ask you to remove your mask momentarily to verify your identity when you arrive at the travel document checking podium.

Those wearing a Halloween mask on their trip should place those masks in carry-on baggage until after checkpoint screening to avoid any alarms and delays.

Trick #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 some costumes may trigger an alarm at the checkpoint body scanner. Often, screening alarms result in the need for a pat-down to ensure there are no prohibited items.

The very best trick for a quick checkpoint screening experience would be to wait until after you pass through the security checkpoint to put on that costume.

Trick #3: Heed the fright Halloween props might cause

While realistic replica weapons might enhance your Halloween costume and add to the spirit of the holiday, they are not permitted through a checkpoint. To avoid unnecessary delay, please pack your replica scythes, pitch forks, chainsaws, brooms, butcher knives, axes, swords and such in your checked bags.

If you’re planning to bring replica explosives such as bombs or grenades in your checked or carry-on bag – just don’t. TSA officers will assume those items are real until they are determined to be props. Bringing weapon-like props may slow you – and everyone else at the checkpoint –down, cause delays with your checked bag, and result in a fine.

Trick #4: It’s okay to feed your sweet tooth

Trick or treat? Treats!! Good news! There’s no limit to how much candy you can bring in either carry-on or checked baggage, but you should wait to grab that pumpkin spiced latte until after you go through security. If your item can be poured, spilled, sprayed, or spread, remember the 3-1-1 rule applies. According to that rule, TSA permits 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less of a liquid, gel, or aerosol in a 1 quart-sized bag, for each passenger.

Trick #5: Do not travel in a mental fog

This year, TSA has detected a record number of firearms during security screening. A majority of the firearms detected are discovered during the screening of accessible property at the screening checkpoint. Passengers often say they forgot the firearm in their bag and they had no intention to bring it on an aircraft. This mistake can result in a maximum fine of almost $14,000 and could include criminal prosecution. Don’t let a mental fog cost you big.

If you’re unsure if an item is allowed or prohibited, or should go in a carry-on bag or checked bag, there’s 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.