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Quick Tips If You Are Flying For Christmas

6:08 PM, Dec 19, 2011   |    comments
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It's not always over the river and through the woods to grandma's house.  For many families nationwide, getting to grandma's involves boarding a plane.

For many, the holidays may be the only time of year they set foot in the airport.  So here is a refresher on the rules and some tips for a hassle free journey.

Before Packing

  • Remember 3-1-1 rule for carry-on liquids:  3oz or less bottles of liquids; 1 quart, clear plastic bag; 1 per passenger.
      --Larger liquids such as breast milk, baby formula and medications can be declared at inspections.
  • Check the website for prohibited items

When Packing

  • Pack items in layers (shoes one layer, clothes one layer, electronics one layer, etc.) (Pack For Security)
  • Pack large electronics on top layer of carry-on for easy accessibility. 
      --(attach a card with contact info to large electronics)
  • Place your 3-1-1 bag with liquids, gels and aerosols in the front pocket of your carry-on for easy accessibility
  • Limit carry-on items: each traveler is allowed to take one bag and one personal item, such as a purse or briefcase, through the security checkpoint.
  • Place all your valuables in your carry-on bags.
  • Leave all gifts unwrapped

When Should I Get To The Airport?

Factors to consider:  What day are you traveling?  How busy is the airport?  Do you have kids that may slow things down?  Do you have to go through customs?

  • The general rule of thumb is: 1 hour before for domestic flights / 2 hours before for international.
  • Allow extra time during peak travel times: Early morning hours from 5am-8am and early evening from 3pm-7pm. 
  • Check your FLIGHT STATUS before you leave to make sure everything is still on schedule.

Going Through Security

  • Have your 3-1-1 bag easily accessible, preferably in your hand as you approach the screener.
  • Remove your coat and any metal objects, including keys, cell phones, watches, etc.
  • Be ready to remove your shoes when you go through the metal detector.  (Passengers 12 and under are now able to leave their shoes on when going through security)
  • Keep boarding passes and photo IDs out and visible

Navigating Airports

  • If you find yourself wandering through the airport searching for the best restauant, worry no more as there is an app to help you on your travels, called iFly.
  • The app is based on the website's guides to nearly 700 airports and includes restrooms, restaurants, and retail stores.

Tips For Families

  • Allow extra time for the security screening process when traveling with small children
  • Remove babies and children from their infant carriers and strollers before proceeding through the metal detector
  • Place all child-related luggage and equipment on the e-ray machine
  • Make arrangements for children traveling alone. Only ticketed passengers are permitted past security checkpoint; however, arrangements may be made for non-travelers to accompany children. Contact your airline to make arrangements.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA), PTI, RDU

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