December 15th, 2006 06:15 EST
12 Tips for Holiday Travel
Pack liquids, gels and aerosols in your checked baggage. For a short trip use the 3-1-1 for carry-ons: 1 quart-size, clear plastic, zip-top bag holding 3 ounces or smaller containers of liquids or gels. Each traveler is limited to 1 clear plastic bag of liquids. Learn more »
There are some exceptions to TSA’s 3-1-1 for liquids, gels and aerosols in your carry-on. You are permitted to have baby formula, breast milk or baby food while traveling with a small child. Liquid and gel medications and other liquids (to include water, juice or liquid nutrients) for diabetic or other medical needs are permitted in quantities greater than 3 ounces. Remember that these items need to be separately presented to the Security Officer for inspection. Learn more »
Get to the airport in plenty of time. Wait times vary greatly depending on the airport and the time of day you are flying. Check with your airline to get a recommendation for when you should arrive for your flight. You can see historical security wait time data for your airport by clicking here.
All footwear must be removed for X-ray screening. Wearing footwear that can be easily removed helps speed the screening process. Learn more »
Avoid packing fragile or valuable items in your checked baggage. Carry them with you on board the aircraft or ship these items before you leave home.
If traveling with a firearm, remember that it must be unloaded, stored in a locked hard-sided case and declared to your airline. Contact your airline to ensure you are following all appropriate procedures. Learn more »
Protect your memories. Place all undeveloped film in your carry-on bag as checked baggage screening equipment may damage it. Learn more »
If you lock your checked bag please use a TSA-accepted lock in case TSA needs to search your bag. Learn more »
Leave your holiday gifts unwrapped until you reach your destination. If TSA needs to inspect an item it will unwrap the package, which is a hassle for the traveler and slows down the screening process for others.
Protect your belongings by making sure not to over pack your bag. Closing overstuffed bags can be difficult and may result in that checked bag being delayed.
Use a zip-top bag for more than just liquids. They are also very helpful for cell phones, keys, personal data assistants and other metal items you may be carrying on your person at the checkpoint. You can place the plastic bag with these items in your carry-on bag for screening and retrieve them once the process is complete.
Arrive at the checkpoint prepared. Remember that you will need to remove your outer coat, blazer or bulky sweater and place it in the bin for X-ray screening. Wearing clothing easily removed and not containing metal will help move you through the process quickly. Learn more »