Friday, March 1, 2024

TSA Shares Spine-Chilling Halloween Travel Tips


FAIRFAX COUNTY — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is alerting travelers to possible sightings of goblins, vampires, zombies, ghosts, mummies and witches traveling through security checkpoints this Halloween.

The TSA said despite its no-pranking security practices, costumed passengers don’t need to worry about stifling their holiday spirit.

“TSA Officers will screen all boo-tifully dressed travelers, but keep in mind we are still haunting down any prohibited items,” TSA said in a press release, adding, “Here are some Howl-oween travel tips to keep in mind this scary season or TSA will have a bone to pick.”

  • When traveling with homebrewed potions and lotions, remember TSA’s magic 3-1-1 rule. This means if traveling with a liquid, gel, cream, paste or lotion (including fake blood) each item can only be 3.4 ounces or less and must fit into a plastic quart-sized bag if being carried through a security checkpoint. If you can spill it, spray it, spread it, pump it or pour it, the rule applies. Larger quantities of liquids should be packed in a checked bag.
  • A costume prop is eerie-sistible but fake (or real) knives, hatchets, pitchforks, light sabers, brooms, swords and scythes must be placed in checked baggage. Never pack any explosive replicas, including grenades, bombs or rocket launchers, since these are all prohibited items in both carry-on and checked bags.
  • Have a sweet tooth? Candy of all sizes is allowed through the checkpoint but liquid quantities must follow the 3-1-1 rule. It’s a good practice to remove any large bags of candy from a carry-on bag and place it in a bin so TSA Officers can easily identify it’s not something more sinister than sugary treats.
  • If your Halloween garb includes a mask, it’s best not to wear it through security. Passengers wearing masks at the checkpoint will be asked to remove it so TSA Officers can properly ID them. Masks are fine when placed in a carry-on bag and can be put back on after going through the checkpoint.
  • A painted face in homage to “IT” is perfect for nighttime terror, but TSA prefers travelers do not fully paint their faces when traveling through checkpoints. Officers still need to match travelers to their ID pictures.
  • A superhero without a cape often spells disaster, but when passing through a security checkpoint, please place capes in a carry-on bag or bin until the screening process is complete. A cape could trigger an alarm at the body scanner, resulting in a longer security process.
  • Juggling a jack-o-lantern through security is allowed (although not advised), so whether your pumpkin is decorated or carved, feel free to bring it in a carry-on bag. However, pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin butters that are liquid, creamy or spreadable have to be in containers of 3.4 ounces or less and placed in your resealable liquids bag. Otherwise, make sure to check those items instead.

Those unsure if an item should be packed in a carry-on bag, checked bag, either or neither can ask TSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger at @AskTSA. Travelers may also send a question by texting “Travel” to AskTSA (275-872).

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