Home Travel Tips Check these TSA rules before traveling for Halloween

Check these TSA rules before traveling for Halloween


Halloween has crept its way back onto our calendars. Soon the streets will be lined with people dressed in Spiderman’s trademark red and blue, the gothic style of Wednesday Addams and hot pink Barbie get-ups.

The holiday is certainly not the biggest travel occasion, but travelers still make spooky pilgrimages. And while air travel can be scary enough, you don’t need to make it any scarier by trying to wear your costume through airport security.

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TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said those traveling during this time should check in with the agency’s rules and guidelines on what air passengers are allowed to bring through security checkpoints to avoid delays. And if you happen to fall under a TSA setback, she said it will be up to the discretion of TSA officers on how to proceed.

Here are a few TSA-approved tips and tricks to help treat yourself to a seamless airport experience leading up to the holiday.

Make sure your fake blood is 3.4 ounces or less

Regardless of how creative your costume is, Farbstein suggests not wearing it through TSA, especially if it might trigger a body scanner alarm and result in a pat-down. This includes your pets and kids, too.

As far as candy goes, you can bring all the treats your heart desires as long as it meets TSA’s guidelines.

Candy or items that are liquid or gel-based — think fake blood for your costume — in carry-on bags are subject to TSA’s 3-1-1 rule and need to be in containers that are 3.4 ounces or less, Farbstein said.

Anything that is puree-based or spreadable, like pumpkin butter or apple butter, would also fall under TSA’s liquid and gel rules. But a whole pumpkin is fair game.

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To verify your identity, TSA officers need a clear view of your face to validate your identification when you get to the document-checking podium. Anything that can obstruct this view, such as masks or face paint, need to be removed in order to match that of your documents.

While colorful paint isn’t explicitly prohibited, it can certainly cause delays as you pass through checkpoints. Officers might need you to alter, remove or even wash off any paint so you can safely pass through.

“Even if you have your face painted, we wouldn’t want to do this, especially if you’ve taken significant care and time to do a really good job to your face,” Farbstein said. “It would be a shame if you had to wash it off to make sure that your face matches your photo ID. We don’t want there to be any delay for you.”

Check the pitchforks and swords

The best rule to use in accessing what props you can bring through TSA to accessorize your costumes this year is just using common sense, Farbstein said.

Stay away from items that can be perceived as weapons — think pitchforks, toy guns or swords. But there’s no harm in bringing your favorite artificial skeleton or dolls in your carry-on. And for the witches traveling between now and Oct. 31, leave those broomsticks with your black cat and spell books at home.

“Hey, you’re flying on an airplane,” she said. “You don’t need to fly on a broom.”