Transportation Security Administration officials held a news conference Thursday in the lobby of the Central Wisconsin Airport to remind summer travelers of what can and can’t be brought through security checkpoints and onto airplanes.
“We just want passengers to be aware so that when they get to the check point they aren’t going to miss their flight,” said Frank Pipia, Jr. with the TSA Wisconsin Field Office. “Travelers take a lot of things camping that they would not necessarily take during other times of the year. Summer brings a lot of new and different items.”
He said it’s important to note that some items like pocket knives or anything with a blade cannot be taken through the security check point but can be put in your checked bag. Other things like ammunition must be declared but can fly in a checked bag as well. Pipia adds that the rules are the same no matter what airport you are flying out of. “We want everyone to have the same awareness, they may be flying out of the smaller airports and larger airports so the consistency is the same.”
Live TSA customer service can be found in a variety of ways as well. Pipia says the best way for consumers to find the proper way to fly with certain items is to check tsa.gov and click “What can I bring?” in the top right hand corner of the page. From there you can enter an item and the page will tell you if you can bring it and if it needs special packing. A 24/7 Twitter feed is also available where passengers can tweet images to @askTSA and get a response in real time. “You’ll get an answer 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.” He adds that both the web ant Twitter platforms are no-questions-asked, so travelers don’t need to feel obligated to explain why they asked about a certain item.
TSA officials also note that passengers are not allowed to take any firearms through security checkpoints, which has been an increasing problem nationwide. In 2017 nearly 4,000 guns were seized from travelers nationwide, an average of over 11 per day and a 17% increase from 2016 numbers. Additionally toy guns are not allowed through checkpoints because it is difficult to tell them from the real guns when screening luggage. CWA officials say one firearm was confiscated at the checkpoint in 2017. So far none have been found through the first quarter of 2018.
Anyone who is found with a gun at a TSA checkpoint or in their carry-on could face civil penalties from the Administration that could be as high as $13,000 for a first offense.