Travel TidBitZ – You (Probably) Can’t Take it With You... But You Can Try! The TSA has Some New Rules...Check It Out!

Holidays, we go again ...what can and can’t I get through those security checkpoints?? To avoid frustration and disappointment, best to check out the rules beforehand. 

My philosophy is to try to help the TSA officers do their job – they are there to protect you, so be prepared for their sake and for the sake of your fellow travelers!

TSA Pre√ :

TSA now has a pre-screening program for selected airlines and airports to expedite screening (special lines and all!) at the airport. Available at over 100 airports and through many airlines, it’s worth a look:


Even the TSA has an app!

As an added information source for passengers, you can use the "Can I Bring…?" tool from the My TSA iPhone and mobile app to get information on an item you want to bring on a plane. Simply type the name of the item in the box and you'll get information on whether or not it's prohibited and other information to help you speed through security. You can also access the tool from your mobile device if it has a web browser.

So, I decided to test it out and filled in SWISS ARMY KNIFE and got an instant answer and explanation.

(In case you’re wondering, pack the Swiss Army Knife!)

Food, Gifts, Liquids:

Pie and cake are still ok although “they may be subject to additional screening’...hmmm so maybe bring an extra piece for the hungry TSA agent “just in case”?

The same fuzzy line goes for wrapped packages – if they set off any alarms or are deemed suspicious you may be asked to unwrap them hence the suggestion that you bring them through unwrapped.

A list of liquid, aerosol and gel items that you should put in your checked bag, ship ahead, or leave at home if they are above the permitted 3.4 oz.

The 3-1-1-1 Rule for Liquids:

 “3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3.4 ounce (100ml) container size is a security measure.”


Pets are not prohibited, but there is a protocol and procedure for taking them through security screening. Also, be sure to check with the airlines as their guidelines may vary.

“Special Items”:

There is a comprehensive listof just about anything else you could think of including alcoholic beverages, needlepoint and knitting needles...yes, and even cattle prods, axes and swords!?

Sorry, you can’t carry them on, but yes, you can pack them and bring them. Really? Really! Same with sabers, pellet guns, and  meat cleavers...Sabers? Pellet guns? Meat cleavers? I kid you not! Really...scary...and my fellow passengers always look like the most suspicious thing they may have tried to sneak by was Grandma’s homemade jam!  Don’t take my word for it, check it out:

Disabilities and Medical Conditions:

TSA cares is a help line to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. TSA recommends that passengers call 72 hours ahead of travel for information about what to expect during screening.

Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.

Bottom line: The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane.

Be sure and check with your airline as well. It seems that these rules are subject to change. Here’s to breezing through security and safe travels!

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