-- To wrap or not to wrap -- that is the question posed by air travelers this holiday season.
"We’re not the Heat Miser; however, we might have to unwrap gifts," the TSA wrote on its blog. "If there’s something in the gift that needs to be inspected, we may have to open it. Our officers try their best not to mangle the gift wrap, but it’s not a guarantee and it also slows down the line for everybody else when we have to do this."
Wine, liquor, beer and all of your favorite beverages are permitted in your checked baggage. Food items such as cakes, pies, bread, donuts and turkeys are all permitted as carry-on items. There are some prohibited food however, such as salad dressing, gravy and dips. Those must be checked, unless they are 3.4 ounces or less (the same size rule that applies to carry-on liquids). Here is a comprehensive list of food items that need to be checked.
Dry ice is not necessarily prohibited and may be carried on in order to preserve food items. However, there are a few rules:
- Packages of dry ice must allow for the release of carbon dioxide gas.
- The limit for dry ice for both carry-on and checked baggage is five pounds.
- Packages of dry ice must contain the language "Carbon Dioxide Solid" or "Dry Ice" and must also have the net weight of the dry ice on the package.
A few more helpful tips:
When traveling with kids, remember they do not have to remove shoes or light jackets while going through TSA checkpoints. This is also true for seniors.
Baby formula and breast milk is not subject to the 3.4 ounce rule. "Medically required liquids, such as baby formula and food, breast milk and medications are allowed in excess of 3.4 ounces in reasonable quantities for the flight," said the TSA. "It is not necessary to place medically required liquids in a zip-top bag."
The TSA has a handy tool called "Can I bring my . . . " where users can plug in a key word to find out if the item in question is allowed through security. Find it here.