TSA releases holiday traveling tips

COLONIE, N.Y. – As the busy holiday travel season approaches, TSA officials at Albany International Airport are urging travelers to know what they can carry on board so travelers don’t hold up lines.

Travelers are reminded they cannot bring corkscrews with blades, or any object that can be used as a bludgeoning device. TSA said that a number of people have tried to bring weapons and even a chainsaw with them on a flight in Albany.

Bringing forbidden items holds up security lines.

“When we find stuff like this, it slows the whole process down,” TSA Federal Security Director for Upstate New York Brian Johansson said. “We’ve got to stop. We’ve got to talk to you. In some cases we have to get the sheriff’s department involved. It just slows down the process.

TSA and airport officials want travelers to plan ahead, especially with an expected influx of travelers over the holidays.

“So we not only are getting our normal traffic, but we are getting a surge in our traffic. And as a result, parking gets stressed, the ticket lines get stressed, and the checkpoint gets stressed,” Albany International Airport CEO John O’Donnell said. “So you want to give yourself sufficient time to get through and stay relaxed. Get here early.”

It is recommended that everyone arrive to the airport 90 minutes to two hours ahead of their scheduled flight time.

Other holiday tips include bringing an empty water bottle and filling it up after going through security. Also use a gift bag or box when traveling with gifts. TSA officials said to not wrap the gift.

“Because if you wrap the gift, and it goes through our x-ray machine, and we can’t tell what it is, somebody is going to have to unwrap it,” Lisa Farbstein with TSA said.

For those who aren’t sure whether they can bring a certain item, go to TSA.gov and there is also an app available for download onto smartphones.

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