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TSA in Wisconsin offers tips to travelers ahead of busy holidays

Appleton airport TSA
Posted at 5:56 AM, Nov 19, 2021

APPLETON (NBC 26) — Wisconsin TSA agents are preparing for high numbers of holiday travelers next week, said Frank Pipia, stakeholder manager for TSA Wisconsin.

“We are getting larger than normal crowds," he said.

A lot of people traveled during the holidays in 2019, but this year could very well be just as crazy, said Pipia.

“26 million passengers nationwide," he said. "That was the biggest holiday Thanksgiving that TSA has seen.”

Items surrendered at TSA checkpoint

TSA wants to remind travelers to pack carefully. You can find an extensive list of banned items on the TSA web site here, but some commonly surrendered items include the following:

  • Any defensive weapons
    • Firearms or any firearms parts like magazines and bullets
    • Pocket knives and multi tools
    • Anything with a blade on it
  • Any tools more than 7 inches long
    • screwdrivers, hammers, wrenches
  • Liquids, gels and aerosols more than 3.4 oz
  • Spreadables like cheese, jams and butters more than 3.4 oz
  • Water bottle or coffee cups

The biggest item TSA agents want to remind passengers against bringing this year is a gun. TSA has seen an uptick in firearms at security checkpoints nationwide, said Pipia. When a firearm is detected, it slows down the entire TSA process for everyone because the threat has to be evaluated, he said. You can face up to a $13,900 fine, although the first offense is $4,100.

“Don't bring your firearm," said Pipia. "Check your bag once, check your bag twice, or a third time. Check your bag, make sure there's not a firearm in it.”

TSA recommends arriving to the airport at least an hour and a half before your flight leaves.

“I always tell passengers, if they get to the airport early, and they get on the other side of security, now they'll still have a couple hours to kill," said Pipia. "Just be happy you’re on the other side of security. You can take a deep breath, sit down and read, and it's all good."