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dec 19 2011

Tips On Flying With Gifts

Holiday gifts (Courtesy almostbunnies/Flickr)

'Tis the season for traveling like Santa and his elves, with tons of gifts and packages in tow.

The Transportation Security Administration has several reminders for travelers bringing their holiday gifts onto a flight.

First off, remember that any liquid, aerosol or gel items are subject to the 3.4-ounce limit for carry-ons.

That includes these popular holiday foods, treats and gifts: cranberry sauce; cologne; creamy dips and spreads (including cheeses and peanut butter); gift baskets with food items such as salsa, jams and salad dressings; gravy; jams; jellies; lotions; maple syrup; oils and vinegars; perfume; salad dressing; salsa; sauces; snowglobes; soups; wine, liquor and beer.

Pies and cakes can be brought through security, but are subject to additional screening (whatever that means! A TSA taste test maybe?).

Flyers are permitted to travel with wrapped gifts, but if the gifts set off the security alarm or there are any red flags, security officers may have to peel away your pretty paper take a closer look inside.

“We recommend passengers wrap gifts after their flight or ship them ahead of time, to avoid the possibility of having to open them during the screening process,” TSA advises.

So, really think about what’s in those packages, as it’s easy to forget about the contents once they’re wrapped.

Case and point, I was flying with gifts for my brother and his family one year, when airport security pulled me aside to tell me there was a foot-long knife in my carry-on. I couldn’t believe what they were telling me, and turned bright red and flustered. As it turned out, I had packed an at-home, sushi-making set for my brother that, indeed, included a foot-long sushi knife. But because it had been a couple weeks since I had wrapped it, I forgot about the knife. They confiscated the blade and I had to gift the sushi set minus one of its main ingredients.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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