What is OK + Not OK at Security during the Holidays

In a recent column for ABCNews.com, I wrote about some of the things that are allowed through security and some of the things you can’t bring with you. There are a few surprises on both lists.

Now that the holidays are here, it seems like a good time for a review.

LISTEN: Security snafus – Rick Seaney’s heard them all.

OK List: What can go through security

This information is from the Transporation Security Administration, better known as the TSA.

  • Knitting needles: No problem
  • Diamonds, other valuables: No problem, but do you really want to bring something like this on a trip and risk losing it?
  • Tools: Pliers, screwdrivers and wrenches are allowed as long as they are not longer than 7 inches.
  • Ice skates: The blades are no problem, but the hockey sticks must be checked
  • Snow globes: No problem as long as they’re no bigger than roughly the size of a tennis ball

Not OK List: Pack in checked-bag or leave it at home

  • Tools: Hammers are not OK (or anything that could be used as a bludgeon)
  • Scissors: If the blades are longer than 4 inches, they must go into checked baggage
  • Peanut butter: No jars allowed in carry-ons, but checked bags are OK and this is true for sauces, dips, salsas and more. Rule of thumb: If it’s gooey or gloppy, it can’t go through security.
  • Wine: If the bottle is over 3.4 ounces, it has to go in a checked-bag.
  • Snow globes: As we saw above, these are permitted, but they also must fit in the quart-size zip bag containing your toiletries. If it won’t fit, it must go into a checked-bag.

The Maybe List

Wrapped gifts: These are allowed through security but the TSA officer may have to unwrap them (and no, he will not rewrap them when he’s done). If you don’t want to see a lot of hard work torn away, ship all gifts.

If You’d Like to Learn More

Just go to the TSA website for more details; plus, check out the TSA app called, “Can I bring ___?” The app also includes information on how slow or fast lines are moving at your airport terminal.

Read more on this topic in Rick’s latest column for ABC. See all his columns here.


Updated: December 8, 2014