Flying with Gifts…TSA Rules


Maybe you’re getting ready to fly somewhere this holiday season and have gifts. Or, maybe you’ve been somewhere and want to bring home some souvenirs.

Do you know the TSA rules and guidelines?

Avoid anything that appears to be a weapon. This means toy weapons as well. To many of us, this is common sense. But, those toys guns that shoot spongy darts really do look like a real gun in the scanner. TSA says they do not take any chances. Bottom line…either leave them at home, mail them, or put them in your checked baggage.

Also, avoid strong liquors over 140 proof. This means absinthe, rum, or anything with more than 70% alcohol. It doesn’t matter if it’s in your carry-on or checked luggage. TSA will take it.

Speaking of liquids. Remember you may only have bottles with three ounces of liquids in your carry-on. This applies to ALL liquids, even bottles of liquor or wine. It also means you cannot place your large bottle of perfume or any other liquid in your carry-on even if it has only three ounces left. TSA doesn’t care and doesn’t look at the liquid. If the bottle says it is more than three ounces, TSA views it as more than three ounces.

I know it seems odd, but don’t gift wrap your gifts. They probably will be unwrapped. Instead, use gift bags, or wait until you arrive to wrap them.

Keep in mind if you are traveling from overseas…international food souvenirs like meats and cheeses will almost always be tossed. This isn’t a TSA rule, but a customs and agriculture regulation.

Last…don’t bring home or take as a gift a snow globe. Yep…a snow globe. Especially if it is bigger than a tennis ball. Why? The liquid in them is most likely more than three ounces. Who would have thought?