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TSA tips for passengers traveling this holiday season

With holiday travel expected to ramp up compared to last year, KHOU went behind the scenes at the airport to find out what you need to know.

The busy holiday travel season is coming up and the TSA has some tips for passengers before they pack their bags.

A TSA baggage supervisor said there are some common mistakes to avoid.

“They don’t think about what they put in their bags," Talmage Dever said. 

He’s been with TSA since shortly after 9/11 when security measures were enhanced.

And with the holidays approaching, he’s got a message for travelers.

“As you can see today, it’s not that busy. But come Thanksgiving this place is going to be really busy and it’s going to take a lot of time for a passenger to get checked in, get through security and get to their gates," Dever explained.

Some of the common problems he sees are guns not packed properly.

“They have to be in a hard-sided, locked container, unloaded, no loose ammunition in the bag.”

Sharp objects that can hurt TSA workers are another problem.

“If they have to go in there, sharps and stuff may hurt us.”

And a BIG one for the holiday: wrapped presents.

“You can tell when we go into a bag, it gets unwrapped and then they’re, 'Oh, you ruined my Christmas, my birthday, my anniversary. Please do not wrap gifts.”

During the holidays, the amount of luggage goes up about 20%.

So following TSA guidelines and remembering who the TSA is working to help should be top of mind as the busy season approaches.

“It’s there for their security, to make sure that they have a pleasant traveling experience," Dever said. 

And with the amount of people traveling this year expected to be higher than last year, TSA says passengers need to arrive at least two hours ahead of time before domestic flights and at least three hours before traveling internationally.

For more information on TSA guidelines, visit tsa.gov.

Zack Tawatari on social media: Twitter | Instagram

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