Here's how to fly with gifts this holiday season
TSA officers won't unwrap gifts to resolve an alarm, officials said
Holiday travelers should avoid bringing wrapped presents through airport security, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) warned.
Instead, the agency recommends that travelers use gift bags or boxes, so it's easier to unpack in the event that it triggers an alarm at the checkpoint.
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"A TSA officer isn't unwrapping the gift to resolve the alarm," TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein tweeted.
However, this policy isn't new.
In years past, federal officials have recommended air passengers travel with unwrapped items and to put them in a gift bag or gift box for "easy access and resolution."
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"Wrapped items are screened like any other item. If a wrapped item alarms the security screening technology, it will need to be unwrapped to determine if it is a security threat," TSA warned passengers during last year's holiday travel season.
This year's warning comes just after TSA projected that travel volumes throughout the rest of December will near pre-pandemic levels and stressed the importance of having a smooth screening process.
TSA SAYS TRAVEL VOLUME WILL NEAR PRE-PANDEMIC LEVELS THROUGH DECEMBER
"We see a strengthening in the airline travel industry toward pre-pandemic levels and our goal is to ensure you as the passenger have a safe and secure flight," said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. "We work hard with our airport and airline partners to achieve this by ensuring screening operations meet the upcoming demand.
Along with packing smart, the agency is also recommending that travelers enroll in TSA PreCheck to help cut down on the time they have to wait in line.
In November, TSA said 94% of members waited less than 5 minutes.