Holiday Gifts That Won't Make It Through TSA Screenings
Travelers in the gift-giving mood should keep in mind what is and isn’t allowed in carry-on and checked luggage before heading to the airport.
- By Jessica Davis
- Dec 11, 2017
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but also one of the busiest for travel and long airport lines. There are steps you can take to expedite your TSA screening process, but travelers in the gift-giving mood should keep in mind what is and isn’t allowed in carry-on and checked luggage before heading to the airport.
Wrapped gifts. Wrapped gifts are allowed, but if something in the package that needs to be inspected, TSA agents will have to unwrap it. Their re-wrapping skills may not be as good as yours, and the process will slow down the line for everyone else. The TSA recommends waiting until after your travel to wrap gifts, but if you simply must, use gift bags, which can be checked more easily.
Snow globes: Snow globes are allowed in checked baggage, but must contain less than 3.4 ounces of liquid and fit inside a quart-sized plastic bag. That’s about the size of a tennis ball.
English-style Christmas crackers: The festive cardboard tubes that “crack” when pulled apart and have trinkets inside of them are completely prohibited on aircraft.
Sporting goods: Novelty and toy bats and hockey and lacrosse sticks are not allowed in carry-on luggage and must be packed in checked baggage.
Toys that look like weapons: Toy guns are prohibited in carry-on bags and must be packed in checked bags. Plastic toy hand grenades and realistic replicas of explosives are prohibited in both carry-on and checked baggage.
As always, review the TSA prohibited items list before you pack. If you’re still not sure whether your item is allowed, you can ask the TSA directly on social media by using either Twitter (@AskTSA) or Facebook Messenger (fb.com/askTSA) to send them the name and/or photo of the item. Their teams will let you know whether they should be packed in a carry-on bag, a checked bag, both or neither.
Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.