Flying home for the holidays? Make sure you know the carry-on rules
Who would have dreamed the lowly carry-on bag ever would become the focus of every airline traveler’s anxiety?
After the events of 9/11, heightened airport security became our nation’s passion. And the carry-on took center stage.
How to prevent would-be terrorists from taking anything potentially lethal aboard commercial aircraft? Enter the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and a greatly expanded list of carry-on no-nos.
If you have not flown in a year, better check it to make sure the items you once packed in the bag you toted on board are not on the “no fly” list.
And beware: That amorphous duffel bag you once stuffed into the overhead bins today may exceed the size specifications established by each airline.
Many have size-specific containers into which your carry-on must fit. Others have an overall measurement your bag may not exceed. Call before you pack.
Reach Diana Rossetti at (330) 580-8322 or email@example.com.
THE TSA RULES
The Transportation Security Administration, an arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is the government agency that makes the carry-on rules.
To provide travelers with an easy-to-remember outline of what is permitted onboard commercial airlines, TSA has instituted its 3-1-1 program. In a nutshell, it stands for:
3 -- All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in 3-ounce or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed.
1 -- All liquids, gels and aerosols must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Gallon size bags or bags that are not zip-top, such as fold-over sandwich bags, are not allowed.
1 -- Each traveler must remove his quart-sized plastic, zip-top bag from his carry-on and place it in a bin or on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening. X-raying separately allows TSA security officers to more easily examine the declared items.
Larger amounts of liquids, aerosols or gels like toothpaste, hairspray or shampoo should be packed in checked luggage.
Air travelers with special carry-on needs for larger containers such as baby formula or breast milk, larger prescription or over-the-counter medications, liquids for medical conditions and gels or frozen liquids needed to cool a disability -- or other medically related items – must present them to the security officer in front of the checkpoint.
Items that will be confiscated by security officers at the checkpoint include: Knives except those with plastic blades, and lighters.
TSA will allow the following to pass through security -- scissors with plastic or metal blunt tips and metal scissors with pointed tips and blades less than 4 inches, safety razors and disposables, tweezers, nail files and clippers, cuticle clipper, corkscrews, cigar cutters and knitting needles and crochet hooks. Gel-filled bra wearers will pass security unquestioned. Umbrellas and walking canes will be checked for hidden compartments but will pass through security. Interestingly, one pack of safety matches is allowed in carry-ons. No matches are permitted in checked baggage.
The TSA list leaves nothing to chance. Don’t expect to clear security if you are carrying a cattle prod, an ax, a billy club, brass knuckles or a hand grenade.
Any food or beverage purchased after passing through the security checkpoint may be taken aboard the airliner.
For more information, visit the TSA Web site at: www.tsa.gov. There, you can print out a wallet-sized card with TSA carry-on regulations.
If you have additional concerns or questions, contact TSA’s Call Center toll-free at (866) 289-9673.
IF YOU ARE DENIED BOARDING
The Department of Homeland Security’s Travel Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) is a single point of contact for individuals who have inquiries or seek resolution regarding difficulties they experienced during their travel screening at transportation hubs -- such as airports and train stations – or crossing U.S. borders. Those difficulties can include:
-- Denied or delayed airline boarding
-- Denied or delayed entry into and exit from the U.S. at a port of entry or border checkpoint
-- Continuously referred to additional (secondary) screening
For more information, visit the Web site at: www.dhs.gov
Source: Department of Homeland Security