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Transportation Security Administration

TSA shares tips on knowing what should go in a carry-on bag, checked bag, neither or either

How to pack smart—don’t bring along any prohibited items

Local Press Release
Friday, March 16, 2018

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. —  It’s not always easy to determine whether an item should be packed in a carry-on bag, a checked bag, either or neither, so the Transportation Security Administration is offering a handful of tips to help travelers flying out of Atlantic City International Airport know how to properly pack an item before heading to the airport.

  • Tip 1: Visit tsa.gov and in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage, click on “What can I bring?” Type in the item and you will find out immediately if it should be packed in a carry-on bag, checked bag, either or neither.
  • Tip 2: Tweet a photo of the item or the name of the item to @AskTSA. TSA’s Twitter team will let you know if the item should go in a carry-on bag, checked bag, either or neither. Live assistance is available from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. EST daily.
  • Tip 3: Use Facebook Messenger to ask about an item at fb.com/AskTSA. Live assistance is available from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily.
  • Tip 4: Call the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673. Automated information is available anytime in several languages. Representatives are available 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. EST weekdays; 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. weekends and holidays.
  • Tip 5: TSA has an app for that! Download the free “myTSA” app. It has a handy feature, “Can I bring?” Tap the “Can I bring?” icon and type in a search to find out if an item is permitted or prohibited.

Tips on traveling with liquids limit

TSA has a limit on the size of liquids, gels and aerosols that travelers can bring in their carry-on bags. It’s called the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Each item must be 3.4 ounces or less and must be able to fit inside a one-quart size clear zip-top bag. The limit is one bag per person. Typically, travelers put their toiletries in the bag such as shampoo, hair products, make-up and toothpaste. Individuals who want to pack their large bottle of shampoo or full-size toothpaste should pack those items in their checked bags.

Tips on traveling with food

Sometimes individuals want to travel with food items. That’s just fine TSA. If you’ve spent time baking your favorite cookies, or if you want to bring a birthday cake or other tasty treats, you can bring these other food items with you when you fly. If the food item is a solid (i.e.: cookies, cake, pie, pizza), then you can pack it in your carry-on bag. If the food item is spreadable or pourable, then it must be 3.4 ounces or less to comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule to travel in your carry-on bag. If it has more than 3.4 liquid ounces, then it should be packed in a tightly sealed container in a checked bag. If you’re unsure if your food item should go in a checked bag, consider this: If you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it, then please pack it in your checked bag.

Tips on traveling with gifts

Sometimes travelers want to bring gifts to friends and loved ones. That’s also just fine with TSA. What we hope that you understand is that if your wrapped gift triggers an alarm, the gift might need to be unwrapped for TSA officers to resolve the alarm. So instead of wrapping a gift, please consider using a gift bag or a gift box so that resolving the alarm will just mean removing the item from the gift bag or gift box without needing to unwrap it. Or, consider wrapping the gift upon your arrival.

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