The Rules of the Sky

Flying out this holiday season? Think before you pack.

By: Kim Bridger

It’s hard to believe that this year is almost over. Just a few weeks ago, we were complaining about the heat and humidity and wondering when summer would ever end. As we head into the holiday travel season, there are more than a few things to consider before you begin planning. If you are a frequent flyer, most of these suggestions are old news. But for those of us whose air travel itineraries are few and far between, it might be worth a little time to brush up on the rules of the road, or in this case, the rules of the sky.

Liquids
The last thing you want to have happen on the way to grandma’s is to have your $50 bottle of perfume confiscated. There is always talk that someday, the carry-on liquid rule will be relaxed. But don’t get too excited. The 3-1-1 rule is still in place at airports across the United States.

If you plan to take liquids in your carry-on bags, you are limited to only one quart-sized, clear zip-lock bag that contains liquids packaged in 3-ounce containers. Nothing larger. That zip lock must be removed from your carry-on before you send your bags through for screening. Even though this rule has been in place and enforced for many years, it still catches some travelers by surprise.

Gifts
During the holidays, travelers tend to show up at the airport with gifts to take to their final destination. It’s even more fun if you get your presents gift-wrapped for free. Just keep in mind that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may have to unwrap those gifts to see what’s inside. Their advice is to take your gifts unwrapped so that no one’s time or handy work is wasted.

Food
There is no distinct rule that prohibits travelers from taking food on an airplane or from taking solid food through the TSA checkpoint. While liquids larger than 3 ounces containers are not allowed, there are exceptions for things like baby formula and medications.

Weapons
It’s still amazing that so many people forget about having guns and knives in their carry-on bags as they approach the TSA checkpoint. Even though it’s legal in a lot of cases for people to have guns in their possession, it is still strictly prohibited to carry a gun on to a commercial aircraft.

Each year, there are a dozen or so guns detected at the TSA checkpoint here at the Corpus Christi International Airport (CCIA). And each time, the traveler ends up having to pay a hefty fine. Prohibited knives are commonly confiscated at checkpoints all over the country.

So while you’re thinking about all the items you need to pack for your trip, take a moment to think about the things that you absolutely cannot pack. This mistake will cost you a lot of time, delays and money.

Guns are allowed in checked bags. But there are very strict rules about how guns must be secured in your luggage. If you plan to pack a gun in your checked bag, it’s a good idea to check the rules published by the TSA or by your particular airline. And make certain that you declare the gun to the ticket agent at check-in.

If you have questions about particular items that you want to transport, the TSA has a very comprehensive list of dos and don’ts online at tsa.gov. If you have trouble finding the answer you need, send us an email and we’ll try to help you with your question.

Here’s to a pleasant, calm holiday travel experience out of a relaxing airport here at home. Fly CCIA, and travel safe!

Kim Bridger is the marketing manager at the Corpus Christi International Airport. For more information, email her at kimb@cctexas.com.

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