Don’t Pack That

The holidays are almost here, and holidays mean family, and family often means travel.  Last year, AAA expected 97.4 million Americans were going to drive to see family, while 6.4 million were going to fly.  If that’s the boat you find yourself in this year (flying), please keep in mind that air travel security isn’t relaxed just because you’re feeling festive.  And this is a message the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) felt they needed to stress earlier this week.

 
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Liquids, Duh.

One of the most strictly enforced security measures these days seems to be the rule about bringing liquids on board a plane in your carry on.  If you’re like me, and thought getting a $6 smoothie once you’ve checked in but before you go through security was a good idea, you know that no matter what extenuating circumstances you can throw at the screening agent, they will make you throw that shit out before you get in line.  Same goes for that new tube of toothpaste or, as a new mother found out a couple of years ago, freshly pumped breast milk.  That’s because any vessel containing more than 100ml/3oz of liquid can’t go through in your carrying.  So, if Aunt Clara is a snow-globe collector and you’ve found the perfect addition for her collection, be sure you pack it in your checked bag.

Surprise!

Speaking of checked bags, do yourself a favour and don’t wrap anything before you arrive at your destination.  The last thing airport security wants to do is experience the adrenaline spike that comes with opening up your bag and finding a package that can’t immediately be identified.  They will unwrap that shit for you and then you won’t get to see little Timmy’s eyes light up when he finds out you bought him a replica of his favourite movie villain’s (Freddy Kruger) claw hand. 

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Explosive Situation

If you’ve ever travelled anywhere on an airplane since…. well, since their second week of operations, you know that the one thing that makes people the most nervous (with reason) is the fear of a hijacking/explosion on board.  And that’s why explosive devices aren’t allowed anywhere near planes.  But some people don’t seem to know this yet.  Weird, right?  A Chicago TSA agent realized that some additional education was probably needed for the passenger who tried to bring a home-made ‘joke bomb’ on board a plane last year.  Even through every knew and agreed the thing was fake, the bomb squad still had to come in and dispose of it.  So, if your dad is a jokester and likes this kind of thing, you may want to ship his gift ahead, or better yet, get him a book of jokes.

Travelling can be a hassle, especially at the holidays, so do yourselves a favour and check with your airline/air transport security agency about what is and isn’t allowed on board these days.  Sometimes, packing it in your suitcase is the way to go, but in some cases, there’s just no way an airline will agree to transport it for you (looking at you, matches!).  Make sure you know in advance so your plans don’t get ruined and you don’t ruin the plans of anyone else.

 Safe travels!

Elise

Sources:

A Guide to (Somewhat) Painless Christmas Travel

Air passengers still ignoring banned items list, CATSA says

The weirdest things people have tried to smuggle past TSA agents