TSA expecting 42 million passengers over the holidays

The Transportation Security Administration estimates 42 million passengers will go through security checkpoints across the country this holiday season — and that means you need to plan ahead.

The traffic from December 15 to January 5 will see an increase of 3.9% from last year, according to a TSA news release.

That volume increase could slow down the security process, and the release said travelers should allow extra time and stay as organized as possible to keep the lines moving.

In addition to the more year-round tips like being ready to separate personal electronic devices and keeping carry-ons organized for screening, the TSA gave some holiday-specific tips.

  • Avoid wrapping gifts — it’s not a rule, but it will slow down the line if your bag needs to be inspected and a TSA agent has to unwrap a present intended for your loved one.
  • But keep the holiday cocktails wrapped — obviously anything over 3 ounces needs to be packed in a checked bag, but the release says that anything with 24%-70% alcohol needs to be in original, unopened packaging. And keep it 5 liters or under.
  • You can bring the decorations — Whether you are packing gift plants or you bring your own poinsettias wherever you go, they can go on the plane as long as they fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat. Same goes with lights. Snow globes and menorahs using oil, however, can only come aboard if they are filled with 3.4 oz of liquid or less.
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