Top 5 Airport Screening Tips for Holiday Travelers
Every holiday travel season, millions fill our nation’s airports to capacity as families crisscross our nation to gather together with loved ones.
Not only does this put a strain on the nation’s air transportation system, but traveling families may well find themselves considerably frustrated without a little pre-flight preparation.
Traveling families may well find themselves considerably frustrated without a little pre-flight preparation.
Here are some very important airport holiday travel screening tips to help you keep your sanity:
Airport Screening Checklist
- Quart sized zip top bag (Hint: 1 bag per passenger is permitted)
- 3 ounces or less sized containers of liquids, gels and aerosols
- Visit TSA.gov to review the prohibited items list for both carry-on and checked baggage
- If purchasing a luggage lock, be sure to look for those that are recognized by TSA
- It can be helpful to tape a card with your name and contact information on any large electronics (like laptops)
- Pack items in layers (shoes one layer, clothes one layer, electronics one layer, etc.)
- Pack large electronics on top layer of carry-on for easy accessibility
- Place your 3-1-1 bag with liquids, gels and aerosols in front pocket of your carry-on for easy accessibility
- Give yourself enough time to arrive at the airport early
- Wear easily removable shoes
- Make sure to have accepted government issued identification and boarding pass (if printed at home)
- Look for Family/Medical Liquids Lanes if special assistance is needed for families
- Be sure to place all items from pockets and any bulky metal jewelry in carry-on bag or purse
- Have ID and boarding pass out for inspection
- Remove 3-1-1 bag and place in bin
- Remove shoes and place directly on belt for quick screening
- Remove coats and jackets and place in bin
- Remove computers and large electronics from carry on and place in bin alone (video game consoles, remote control toys, etc.)
- Ensure no items remain in your pockets before proceeding to the walk-thru metal detector or imaging technology (keys, cell phones, comb, eyeglasses, etc.)
- Remember to check bins and collect all belongings following screening
Special Holiday Travel Tips
New Screening Procedures for Passengers 12 and Under: TSA has implemented new procedures that reduce, though not eliminate, pat-downs of passengers 12 and under that would otherwise have been conducted to resolve alarms while also ensuring effective security measures. Passengers 12 and under are also able to leave their shoes on through security checkpoints.
Traveling With Food: Everyone has favorite foods from home that they want to bring to holiday dinners, or items from their destination that they want to bring back home.
Travelers should know that while pies are permitted through the security checkpoint, here is a list of liquids, gels and aerosol items that you should put in your checked bag, ship ahead, or leave at home: cranberry sauce, creamy dips and spreads, cheeses, peanut butter, gift baskets with food items, gravy, jams, jellies, maple syrup, oils and vinegar, salad dressing, salsa, sauces, soups, and finally, wine, liquor and beer.
Items that are purchased after the security checkpoint have been pre-screened and can be taken on the plane.
Traveling With Gifts and Snow Globes: While wrapped gifts are not prohibited, TSA recommends not wrapping gifts before you travel to avoid them being opened during the screening process. If a bag alarms, security officers may have to unwrap a gift to take a closer look inside. This applies to both carry-ons at the security checkpoint and to checked baggage.
To avoid this possibility, TSA recommends shipping wrapped gifts ahead of time or wait until you arrive at your destination to wrap them. Additionally, TSA does not permit snow globes through the security checkpoint because they contain an undetermined amount of liquid. Snow globes are permitted in checked baggage.
If you will find yourself in an airport over the holiday travel season, we recommend that you do yourself a great favor and plan ahead for the airport screening process. We promise, you will thank us later.
Note: tips reprinted from the TSA website.