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TSA packing tips for checked luggage | Kick Butt Vacations
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TSA packing tips for checked luggage


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tsa_logoPlease refrain from locking your checked baggage, or use a TSA Accepted & Recognized Lock. TSA is mandated by Federal law to screen 100% of checked baggage. If your baggage alarms and TSA cannot gain access to your checked bag, unrecognized locks may be broken. TSA will not reimburse passengers for unrecognized locks broken as a result of the security screening process.

DO NOT pack the following items in your checked baggage:

  • Jewelry
  • Cash
  • Laptop computers
  • Electronics
  • Fragile items (no matter how they are protected)

Below are a number of tips for packing your checked baggage:

  • Don’t put film in your checked baggage, as the screening equipment will damage it.
  • Pack shoes, boots, sneakers, and other footwear on top of other contents in your luggage.
  • Avoid over packing your bag so that the screener will be able to easily reseal your bag if it is opened for inspection. If possible, spread your contents over several bags. Check with your airline or travel agent for maximum weight limitations.
  • Avoid packing food and drink items in checked baggage.
  • Don’t stack piles of books or documents on top of each other; spread them out within your baggage.

The following general packing tips apply to both carry-on and checked baggage:

  • Do NOT pack or bring prohibited items to the airport.
  • Put all undeveloped film and cameras with film in your carry-on baggage. If your bag will pass through the X-ray machine more than five (5) times ask for a hand inspection to prevent damage.
  • LABEL your laptop computer. Tape a business card or other identifying information beneath your laptop to avoid loss or the accidental “exchange” by other passengers.
  • Check ahead of time with your airline or travel agent to determine the airline’s baggage policy, including number of pieces you can bring and size and weight limitations.
  • Carry-on baggage is limited to one carry-on bag plus one personal item. Personal items include laptops, purses, small backpacks, briefcases, or camera cases. Remember, 1+1.
  • Don’t forget to place identification tags with your name, address and phone number on all of your baggage, including your laptop computer. It is a good idea to place an identification tag inside your baggage as well.
  • Avoid over packing so that your articles don’t spill out if your bag is opened for inspection.
  • Think carefully about the personal items you place in your carry-on baggage. The screeners may have to open your bag and examine its contents.
  • Place your personal belongings in clear plastic bags to reduce the chance that a TSA screener will have to handle them.
  • Wait to wrap your gifts. Be aware that wrapped gifts may need to be opened for inspection.

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