CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — As holiday travel season draws near, the Transportation Security Administration has some tips to get you on your flight on time.

The TSA says the process begins at home. Travelers should start packing with an empty bag to make sure they are not accidentally bringing prohibited items. While heading to the airport, make sure you give yourself enough time before your flight to get through security and to your gate. Have your identification ready for the screening checkpoint.

“We have Computed Tomography x-rays. With these x-rays, you do not have to take anything out of your bag. So, you’re going to put your carry-on into a bin … if you have items in your pockets — keys, cell phones, earbuds — put those items in your carry-on bag,” said Reggie Stephens, Federal Security Director for TSA Michigan.

He reminded travelers that liquids are limited to 3.4 ounces or less per bottle.

“With the new CT x-rays, you get to keep the majority of your electronics in the bag along with liquids, gels and aerosols,” he said.

The holiday season brings lots of delicious food. Can you bring that with your on your flight?

“If you can spill it or spread it, no,” Stephens said. “But if you have any questions, always feel free to ask one of our TSA officers or a TSA supervisor for additional information.”

Stephens displayed some items like firearms, tools, pocketknives and pepper spray that had been confiscated by TSA when passengers tried to bring them in their luggage.

TSA Michigan displays items that have been confiscated from passengers at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport security checkpoint. (Nov. 9, 2023)
TSA Michigan displays items that have been confiscated from passengers at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport security checkpoint. (Nov. 9, 2023)

“When we make the discovery, we give every passenger the opportunity to either return the item back out to their vehicle or to a loved one or they can voluntarily abandon the property at the screening checkpoint,” Stephens said.

Firearms and knives are only allowed to go in checked baggage and you must store it in a hard-sided, locked container and declare it at the ticket counter with your airline. If you instead try to bring it through the security checkpoint, law enforcement will be called and you will be subject to fines, penalties and additional TSA screening,” Stephens said.

“Here at Gerald R. Ford International Airport, we discovered 15 firearms this year, and that’s already surpassed the 2022 total of 12,” he added.

If you have questions about the screening process, you can reach out to or Ask TSA on Facebook Messenger. If you need assistance with medical conditions, disabilities or other needs, reach out to TSA Cares 72 hours before your flight for a passenger support specialist who can help you.

Stephens added that TSA in Grand Rapids is looking to hire more workers and have two events coming up: Nov. 15 and Nov. 29 at the Grand Rapids Northwest Service. You must be 18 with a high school diploma and pass background checks. You will receive training for the job. For more information, visit the TSA website.