The Walkerville Weekly Reader

National Desk: Hard-hitting journalism from your completely un-biased (pinky swear!) reporters in Walkerville, VA.

Walkerville, VA
Monday, July 17, 2017
Carolyn Purcell, Editor

Tips for Traveling with Electronic Gear

TSA recommends going back to old-fashioned Christmases without music and home movies, but does not recommend returning to fruitcakes.

With the nation on the “orange” level of alert this holiday, allowing a little extra time to clear security at the airport is a good idea. TSA spokesperson Granville M. Sawyer suggests showing up three or four hours early instead of the normal two to three hours early. “Make a day of it,” said Sawyer. “Make it an old-fashioned Christmas, like traveling in a horse and buggy.”

According to experts, technology toys don’t fit into an old-fashioned Christmas. Fog Legornaro, technology editor for the Washington Post, suggests “living without music for a few days. Leave your iPod home.”

Sawyer agreed. “Christmas isn’t about music,” he said. “It’s about feeling frustrated, it’s about waiting in line, it’s about not getting what you want.” Sawyer added that the TSA would spread as much Christmas cheer as possible. “We feel that every day should be Christmas,” he said.

Legornaro also suggested “unplugging for a few days. Leave the laptop home unless someone’s paying you to take it. Christmas vacation is no time for amateur novelists, watching movies together with the family, or creating movies of the festivities. And the kids don’t want to play video games. They’d rather read books or help mom clean the house.”

Gifts can also run afoul of the new security precautions. The strong x-ray scanners that examine checked baggage can damage the sensitive electronics inside many modern gifts. “Consider giving non-electronic gifts over Christmas,” said Legornaro. “Not stuffed animals, because the TSA doesn’t like them either, but useful items such as ties, scarves, and fruitcake.”

The TSA partially agreed. “Ties and scarves are great,“ said Sawyer, “and stuffed animals are definitely out. Stuffed animals represent safety and comfort; neither of these have any place in an airport or airliner. But fruitcakes are prohibited items. We classify them with hockey pucks, which are also prohibited from carry-on. If you need to bring a fruitcake, you’ll need to place it in your checked luggage. Make sure that your luggage still conforms to federal weight guidelines.”

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