Pack your bag, check it twice before holiday air travel

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — There’s the restricted, the illegal and the plain strange items found by the Transportation Security Administration.

“We have the soups, the mushroom gravy, the aerosols,” said Amanda Davis, lead transportation officer at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Kent County.

As you’re preparing to travel this holiday season, the TSA hopes you’ll make that packing list and check it twice.

“Something as small as an over-sized liquid or a pocket knife in a bag is going to going to exponentially slow down the queues,” said Mark Howell, TSA Regional spokesperson.

Howell says it’s not that people are purposefully trying to bring restricted items past the checkpoints; most of them just simply forget to take them out of their bags.

Things like pocket knives, hairspray and even condensed milk.

“Even canned items that are over 3.4 ounces, I know they are factory sealed but they still can’t go through the check point,” Davis said.

The TSA at the Ford Airport found seven guns this year. That’s two more than last year. On average, they’ll end up with 300 pounds of stuff every month — stuff passengers ask the TSA to take off their hands.

“We don’t take your items. We give you the options of going back out to your car, you can go put them in a checked bag, you can give them to a family member seeing you off,” Davis said.

But that process takes time slowing down already stifled holiday travel lines.

“In effect, it’s like screening another passenger because we’re going to go through the options of getting rid of that item before they go through the security checkpoint, and then they’re going to go through re-screening,” Howell said.

Davis says liquor is another item the TSA often sees around the holidays.

“People are getting gifted their liquor and that can’t go through if it’s over 3.4 ounces,” she said.

As you make your list and check it twice, TSA agents are hoping you’ll leave them off your gift-giving list. Stress-free holiday travel is the only thing they want under the tree this year.