TSA shares hacks for holiday travel
Lorie Dankers, spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, shared some hacks for holiday travelers at Fairbanks International Airport last week.
Her focus is on travelers bringing gifts to family and friends over the holidays. “Wrapped items are screened like any other type of item. If our officers need to take a closer look at what is in that box, they will have to unwrap your package,” advises Dankers, adding, with a chortle, “And no one likes to do that; our officers are not the Grinch. That is not something they want to do.”
Instead, Dankers recommends that travelers use gift bags. That way officers can take the objects out of the bag, inspect them, and put them back in.
This applies not only to common items which may be familiar to travelers, but also to less common objects. “Some items look a little bit odd on the X-Ray,” says Dankers, pulling a set of jingle bells from a bag. "If it looks odd on the X-Ray machine, they're going to look at it. So rather than unwrapping it, have it in the gift bag, they'll put it back and you'll be on your way,” she says.
Food is another item the TSA may want to check. “Once again, not having them wrapped but putting them in a gift bag, they'll take a look, you'll be on your way," says Dankers.
TSA will respond to questions about items and procedures on social media. Travelers can even send photos of a specific item in question.