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Can You Fly With Wrapped Gifts?

Although the omicron variant of the coronavirus has compelled many individuals to alter their Christmas plans, vacation journey nonetheless seems to be in full swing. In the previous 4 days alone, the Transportation Security Administration has screened more than 2 million passengers every day at airport safety checkpoints ― practically double the quantity seen on these days a 12 months in the past.

Flying throughout the holidays can include logistical challenges, particularly when items are concerned. For some individuals, it’s exhausting to search out the house of their suitcases for all of the presents they purchased for family members. Others is likely to be involved about packing them securely to keep away from harm or different mishaps.

And, in fact, there are those that prefer to plan forward by wrapping their items earlier than packing them of their baggage. But is it OK to fly with wrapped presents? We requested a few journey consultants to share their recommendation.


What To Know About Taking Wrapped Gifts On Flights

“Be sure to follow TSA guidelines when packing,” stated Cheryl Nelson, a journey preparedness skilled and founding father of Prepare with Cher. “While there aren’t specific gift wrapping restrictions, there is a chance your perfectly wrapped present with the curled bow could be unwrapped by a TSA agent if your luggage is flagged for safety inspection.”

Although there aren’t specific guidelines that forbid it, TSA advises in opposition to wrapping your items earlier than packing them in your suitcase since there’s an opportunity this might get undone within the safety screening course of. This steering applies to each checked and carry-on baggage.

“Whether a wrapped gift is in a carry-on bag or checked luggage, if your luggage is flagged at TSA, your gift will be unwrapped,” Nelson stated. “This could cause delays for you getting through TSA security and delay your checked luggage from making it on time for your scheduled flight departure.”


We advocate that you simply wait till you arrive at your vacation spot to wrap items. Gifts might must be unwrapped for add’l inspection. This applies to each carry-on and checked baggage. Safe travels!

— AskTSA (@AskTSA) December 15, 2021

What To Do Instead

Understandably, you may not wish to danger getting delayed or having your lovely wrapping paper get torn up. But there are methods to be ready with out having all the things totally gift-wrapped.


“You can keep your gifts in a gift bag or a box, but you’ll want to make sure that they can be easily opened by TSA agents if they need to be inspected,” stated Lindsay Schwimer, a client journey skilled with the trip-booking app Hopper.

Nelson provided another ideas for flying with presents as properly.

“An easy alternative is to pack a gift bag and tissue paper and properly place your gift in the gift bag once you reach your destination,” she stated. “If you really want to wrap your gift, pack some wrapping paper and tape, and save the gift-wrapping for your destination.”

If you’re feeling strongly about totally wrapping your reward previous to air journey, you may additionally contemplate sending it individually to your vacation spot through mail as a substitute.

Other Things To Keep In Mind

As you put together on your vacation flights, do not forget that all the things you pack in your bag is topic to TSA laws, together with items. So in case you obtained somebody a set of good hand lotions, make sure that they’re carry-on dimension or put them in your checked bag.

“Travelers who are unsure if an item should be packed in a carry-on or checked bag should check the TSA homepage and reference the ‘What can I bring?’ section for the most up-to-date guidance,” Schwimer stated.

Nelson famous that craft scissors are solely permitted in checked baggage, so don’t attempt to toss them in your carry-on with different gift-wrapping provides.

“Chances are that someone at your destination will likely have scissors you can borrow,” she added.

Nelson additionally provided a phrase of warning a couple of specific vacation favourite: the snow globe.

“If you plan to pack a festive snow globe in your carry-on luggage, remember that snow globes are considered liquids and anything liquid larger than 3.4 ounces ― roughly the size of a tennis ball ― will be flagged and confiscated by TSA agents,” she stated. “If you plan to gift a snow globe, please carefully wrap it in bubble wrap for protection in your checked luggage.”

And bear in mind: If you’re flying this vacation season, be sure you take all of the proper precautions to assist scale back the unfold of COVID-19. Wear your masks on the airport and on board, wash and sanitize your arms ceaselessly, maintain a secure distance from others when attainable, and don’t fly in case you’re feeling sick.

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