Tuesday, December 20, 2011

TSA Holiday Travel Tips Rehash

Holiday Travel Banner






You may have read our Thanksgiving Travel Tips last month. Well, this is the holiday travel version. If you didn’t read all of our travel tips last month, no worries… Here’s the link: Good Gravy, Let’s Talk Turkey!: TSA Holiday Travel Tips

Here are a few tips that focus on the upcoming holiday travel.
Wrapped gifts are allowed, but not encouraged: Nothing new this year. Wrapped gifts are allowed, but we recommend waiting until you land. If there’s something in the gift that needs to be inspected, we may have to open it. Our officers try their best not to mangle the gift wrap, but it’s not a guarantee and it also slows down the line for everybody else when we have to do this. We’d rather unwrap the gifts that are under our trees.
Eggnog can be an alternate to fuel depending on who’s mixing it. Sometimes there’s a fine line between a beverage and hazmat. Just sayin’…Remember the 3-1-1 liquids rule at the checkpoint. Unless it’s in small container (3.4 oz or less), this tasty liquid treat is not allowed.
Snow Globes: Call us what you will (Grinch, Scrooge, Heat Miser), but snow globes are still not permitted in your carry-on luggage. They are sealed containers full of liquid that would have to be opened to test. We’re not in the business of busting snow globes, so we suggest you place them in your checked baggage or mail them ahead of time.
Fruit Cake
Photo Courtesy of Brent
Fruitcakes get a bad rap. I personally love fruitcakes and my holiday wouldn’t be the same without them. As I said in last year’s post, contrary to popular belief, fruitcake is a delicious edible and permitted cake, not a WMD. 
Christmas Sweaters: If you have one of those Christmas sweaters with blinking lights, you might get a little more attention. However, we won’t hold it against you if you’re simply wearing an ugly sweater. As I said in last year’s post, While some Christmas sweaters can have a nauseating effect on passengers, they are currently permitted through TSA checkpoints.
Family Lanes are designed to let families take their time and ask questions without feeling rushed by the experienced frequent flyers who can zip through a checkpoint in no time. Also anybody carrying medically necessary liquids, aerosols and gels in excess of 3.4 oz may be directed to a Family Lane.
Message To Mom: I know I’ve complained in the past, but t-shirts and socks would be an awesome gift this year!
Kids 12 & Under can keep their shoes on now!
Legend: Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings? But what I’d like to know is if they’re spicy or mild? Buffalo or BBQ?
Christmas Crackers: Not the kind you eat, but the kind that “cracks” when you pull it apart. They’re really cool and a part of a lot of people’s Christmas traditions, but they’re prohibited on aircraft.
The MyTSA App: Our MyTSA App (available as an iPhone or mobile web app) amongst other great features has a “Can I Bring My…” tool. You can type in the name of the item you’re curious about and it tells you if the item is permitted or not.
Santa Claus: No prohibited items in your beard this year.
Foods: Cakes, pies, bread, donuts, turkeys, etc. are all permitted. Here is a list of items that should be placed in your checked bags or shipped: cranberry sauce, creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, etc.), gift baskets with liquid or gel food items (salsa, jams and salad dressings), gravy (mmm gravy), jams, jellies, maple syrup, oils and vinegars, sauces, soups, wine, liquor and beer.
Yule Logs should be placed in your checked baggage. Preferably unlit
Follow us on Twitter @tsablogteam for travel tips, blog post announcements, and other useful information. Printout this handy dandy checklist (PDF) so you don’t forget anything and don’t forget to check out TSA.gov for a wealth of information on traveling through TSA checkpoints.


If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.


36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, no snide, rude or condescending comments yet…are all the nay-sayers on holiday or just plotting to find their next anti-TSA message…

Anonymous said...

"Wow, no snide, rude or condescending comments yet…are all the nay-sayers on holiday or just plotting to find their next anti-TSA message…"

At least you managed to be all the above by smearing those who disagree with the activities of the TSA.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I wish you nothing but the best despite our obvious difference of opinion on this matter.

Anonymous said...

No, we are not absent - we are being censored.

Bob - why won´t you approve my comment regarding weekly counts? No offensive language, and on topic for the last thread.

The only explanation is an attempt to sweep embarassing episodes under the rug.

Anonymous said...

Curtis, why are shoes only "dangerous" on people over 13? And why does TSA continue to make America the only nation with a mandatory shoe removal policy?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the MyTSA app is wonderful. Right up until you get to the TSO and he says you can't have your item in your carry-on.

Really, Bob, why do you persist in telling us about the app when it's not official and any TSO can change rules whenever they want?

Anonymous said...

So if the only way TSA can test a snowglobe for explosives is to break it open, how exactly did a terrorist get the explosives into it?

Anonymous said...

[[why are shoes only "dangerous" on people over 13?]]

I can answer this one:
They claim that the amount of explosive possible to hide in the sole of a shoe of someone with "small feet" is insufficient to do significant harm to an aircraft even if the shoe contained explosive.

This is, of course, little more than a bureaucratic way-station on their trip away from Paranoiaville to Rational Town, where it has been known for years that Reid - even with his comically oversized shoes - could not have done significant damage to the aircraft even with the clown-cloppers he was wearing.

The shoeless magnetometerizing is a futile exercize in appeasing the ignoramuses among us who believed the scary stories that the government invented in order to frighten us into letting them take more power.

Shoes aren't dangerous on anybody, but they can be annoying on someone like Ried who is intent on being annoying. But rather than looking at people and their behavioral traits, which includes how they present themselves, TSA only knows how to look for things. Ergo, idiot shoe rules.

rwilymz
http://dblyelloline.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

"Wow, no snide, rude or condescending comments yet…are all the nay-sayers on holiday or just plotting to find their next anti-TSA message…"

Why would there be snide, rude, or condescending comments to this post. This post simply repeats the message that the TSA wants to present without adding any actual information.

The response to the petition signed by 0.01% of the US population made it clear that the TSA has no desire to have an open an honest dialogue. To prove this, I will repeat my questions that the TSA, DHS, President, my senators, and my congressman have refused to answer.

How many lives per year are saved by the work performed by the TSA?

How many lives per year are saved by the additional screening of "whole body imaging" and "enhanced patdowns"?

Without defining the benefit the TSA provides their can be no dialogue over their actions.

Not Scared of Terrorists

Anonymous said...

The reason for limited comments regarding the TSA holiday tips is simple. Most average law-abiding Americans want to focus on the Joy of the Season - and NOT be reminded of disgraced organizations like the TSA. Sadly, some average citizens must travel and be rudely reminded of what's gone wrong in the United States as they pass through a TSA checkpoint.

Anonymous said...

Bob,
I went through MIA two days ago and was told it was mandatory to remove my belt. Is this true? I thought it was optional?

mrflight said...

Keeping shoes on for 12 and under is a pilot program, be patient, if the study goes well, TSA will prob allow shoes to remain on, everything has to go through a pilot phase first

tramky said...

Well, at least I get to avoid TSA madness at airports for another Christmas--not going anywhere by plane. I love the suggestions about putting your explosive liquids into you checked baggage rather than in carryons. Out of sight, out of mind I guess.

And I can assume that those confiscated bottles of clear liquid that are tossed into 50-gallon garbage cans in the middle of TSA checkpoints that are confiscated because they are presumed to be explosives, continue this year to be tossed into those 50-gallon tubs in the middle of hundreds of people. You know what I mean, those bottles of clear liquid--oh, I'm sorry . . . you know, those water bottles!

And you gotta love those 3.4 oz bottles of liquids that are permitted. I guess 3 oz of nitroglycerine isn't enough to blow a hole in the airframe. Oh, yes, that 1-quart baggie will contain it.

What happens if you put a 3-oz bottle of liquid into a half-gallon baggie and present it at a TSA checkpoint? And that one little bottle is the only thing in the baggie--saw this once at a checkpoint at DIA. This caused a certain turmoil on the part of TSA agents because it wasn't a 1-quart baggie, it was a 2-quart clear baggie!

Anonymous said...

Snow Globes: Call us what you will (Grinch, Scrooge, Heat Miser), but snow globes are still not permitted in your carry-on luggage. They are sealed containers full of liquid that would have to be opened to test. We’re not in the business of busting snow globes, so we suggest you place them in your checked baggage or mail them ahead of time.

If these (supposedly dangerous, otherwise whats the point?) "sealed containers full of liquid" are Soooooooo dangerous, then why are they allowed in "checked baggage" at all?

If they ARE explosives, they are dangerous in the cargo hold, too. If they AREN'T explosives, then they can safely be brought aboard the plane in a carry-on.

WHICH IS IT?

Anonymous said...

Will the TSA App be accepted at checkpoints as the authority on what can be carried through? In a disagreement will a supervisor agree to let an allowed item through?

Anonymous said...

Okay well I may have messed up already with the wrapped gifts. They are all wrapped with the exception of an old mini mac. I'm sending it through checked luggage. Xray as much as you please, but are the chances good that they will still be unwrapped? Any useful feedback would be greatly appriciated.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Snow Globes: Call us what you will (Grinch, Scrooge, Heat Miser), but snow globes are still not permitted in your carry-on luggage. They are sealed containers full of liquid that would have to be opened to test. We’re not in the business of busting snow globes, so we suggest you place them in your checked baggage or mail them ahead of time.

If these (supposedly dangerous, otherwise whats the point?) "sealed containers full of liquid" are Soooooooo dangerous, then why are they allowed in "checked baggage" at all?

If they ARE explosives, they are dangerous in the cargo hold, too. If they AREN'T explosives, then they can safely be brought aboard the plane in a carry-on.

WHICH IS IT?

December 21, 2011 6:45 PM

...........
Why would Snow Globes be allowed in airport shops inside the secure area?

How did TSA validate the liquid contained inside the vendors Snow Globes if they can't do it for a single passenger with just one Snow Globe?

mikeef said...

[Will the TSA App be accepted at checkpoints as the authority on what can be carried through? In a disagreement will a supervisor agree to let an allowed item through?]

I'll add a question or two to that: Why does the TSA bother to list any policy on its website, considering the number of times that the TSOs say, "Oh, the website is out of date." Where should we contact the TSA to let them know that they need to update their website, since the TSOs clearly have more up-to-date information?

Anonymous said...

RB, the biggest concern is actually the glass that holds the water in the snow globe. A terrorist could break a snow globe on board the plane and use the sharp pieces of glass in the same manner that terrorists used box cutters on 11th September 2001. I am actually shocked that any airport would allow snow globes to be sold in a secure area, period! Hopefully rules are changed so nothing made of thin glass (other than required eyeglasses for vision correction) is allowed past the checkpoint.

Jim Huggins said...

Care to comment on the recent incident where a Las Vegas TSO confiscated a cupcake as a prohibited item, despite your assurances that such items are permitted?

Anonymous said...

Mikeef said: "RB, the biggest concern is actually the glass that holds the water in the snow globe. A terrorist could break a snow globe on board the plane and use the sharp pieces of glass in the same manner that terrorists used box cutters on 11th September 2001. I am actually shocked that any airport would allow snow globes to be sold in a secure area, period! Hopefully rules are changed so nothing made of thin glass (other than required eyeglasses for vision correction) is allowed past the checkpoint."

What about those large bottles of booze sold at airports? And all those metal parts in vents, bathrooms, etc, that could be used as pointy knife-like weapons?

There is no way you can get rid of all white-weapons on board, and no reason to.

Anonymous said...

The idea that the concern with snowglobes is the glass is ridiculus. In the first place ANY piece of glass could be broken to create a sharp edge, and glass per se is not prohibited. Mirros of any size, for example, are allowed.

More to the point, snow globes, of course, are not made of glass.

Anonymous said...

"RB, the biggest concern is actually the glass that holds the water in the snow globe. A terrorist could break a snow globe on board the plane and use the sharp pieces of glass in the same manner that terrorists used box cutters on 11th September 2001. I am actually shocked that any airport would allow snow globes to be sold in a secure area, period! Hopefully rules are changed so nothing made of thin glass (other than required eyeglasses for vision correction) is allowed past the checkpoint."
--------------------------------
Nonsense. The 9/11 hijackers used boxcutters to gain access to the cockpit. Since the cockpit is now secured, the most a terrorist could do with a piece of a snowglobe is stab one or two people. Of course a "terrorist" (or any criminal or deranged person) could stab someone with a piece of glass in any number of locations. What makes a plane such a special place that we suddenly need to keep sharp things away from people?

mikeef said...

Apparently, LAS is now confiscating cupcakes. Why are fruitcakes and pies (Some with gel-like filling!) allowed but not a cupcake?

It would be great to get an actual answer to this question from Bob.

TSORon said...

I'm with ya Bob, I love those fruitcakes too. But we don’t really see that many go through. A holiday tradition like that, it’s tough seeing it vanish because of media hype.

Anonymous said...

"(other than required eyeglasses for vision correction"

Are you kidding me!?!? Eyeglasses could be used to make a weapon!! How dare the TSA allow people to go through a security checkpoint with glasses! Are you crazy?!

Anonymous said...

"Of course a "terrorist" (or any criminal or deranged person) could stab someone with a piece of glass in any number of locations."

The terrorist or deranged person - the TSA is looking for deranged people now? - would be incompetent, indeed, when all he/she would need to do is bring knitting needles on board.

Criminal Justice Geek said...

I think this post is nice. Shows the TSA are humans too, with some of their own holiday cheer! I often feel like a sheep being herded when I'm flying, so it's good to be spoken to like a human with a sense of humor here. I respect and appreciate what they do. As soon as they stop, and something bad happens, they'll be the ones to blame, so let them do their best to protect us. It's sad we need protecting in this country, but that's an entirely different subject.

Anonymous said...

So, Bob, why no comment on the cupcake?

KM said...

Anonymous said...
RB, the biggest concern is actually the glass that holds the water in the snow globe. A terrorist could break a snow globe on board the plane and use the sharp pieces of glass in the same manner that terrorists used box cutters on 11th September 2001.


A terrorist could also use a pencil, pen, high heal shoe, belt (strangulation), smack someone over the head with a laptop, keys....all of these could be turned into weapons and do some damage or even kill.

And as far as shoes, tell me what I can hide in a pair of sandals with a thin rope thong to keep it on my foot and a sole less that 1/4 inch thick!

Ray the carry on luggage guy said...

I am not sure if this has been talked about before..but maybe they should have a TSA officer or 2 inside the plane during flights. If someone so happens to take out their snow globe the officer may retaliate. Though there probably won't be much action for these hypothetical officers...maybe have flight attendants receive mandatory or voluntary training from the TSA so that in a possible danger they may know what to do, obviously they'd need a higher salary. just some ideas.

Right now there or too many variables with TSA rules considering what a person has in their carry on luggage or checked luggage. Whose to say a "terrorist" can't have a time bomb in their checked in luggage.

nat said...

Curtis, why are shoes only "dangerous" on people over 13? And why does TSA continue to make America the only nation with a mandatory shoe removal policy?

Kyle Taylor said...

Eh..I might take some heat in the comment thread for this, but I like that the TSA has a sense of humor. :)
"Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings? But what I’d like to know is if they’re spicy or mild? Buffalo or BBQ?"

C'mon now. That's funny.

Rosa said...

"A terrorist could also use a pencil, pen, high heal shoe, belt (strangulation), smack someone over the head with a laptop, keys....all of these could be turned into weapons and do some damage or even kill." said KM



I think the point with most prohibited things is, that the could contain a real demaging weapon, because of course a terrorist coud use a pencil or a belt, but than you could also use his own hands... the point is here pobably that it is very difficult to fight with all the pessangers on board if you only have a pencil or shoe as weapon....

Anonymous said...

Ray, I have been saying that we need four armed air marshals on board every flight for years now. I am glad someone other than me agrees with this concept. It would be worth the $150 round trip tax that would have to be implemented and assessed on all US plane tickets to pay for it (first class round trip from GRR to SFO is currently about $2200 anyway so an additional $150 isn't a big deal).

Ray Manner said...

I am all for having scans at the airport if it keeps us safe and secure. It's really not a hassle if you come early enough. Just realize that people are there to help you and you can feel much better about it.

dsad said...

erous" on people over 13? And why does TSA continue to make America the only nation with a mandatory shoe removal policy?