Airlines Discourage Carry-On Clutter

According to USA Today, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has begun a campaign dubbed SimpliFLY where they are urging some 27 million holiday travelers to clear the clutter from their carry-on luggage.

The TSA explains that a neater bag is easier to view in the x-ray machines and, therefore, less likely to be pulled aside and searched by hand. And really, who wants a TSA employee rifling through your personal stuff? (I giggle every time I think about the airport security scene in the "Austin Powers" movie.)

So, to avoid angering those in line behind you or making yourself late for your flight, here are a few tips for airport trips:

  • Fold clothes neatly
  • Create separate layers for clothes and electronics
  • Coil any wires
  • Put liquids and gels in a single one-quart, clear plastic, zip-lock bag
  • Remove shoes and coat at checkpoint. (And don't leave your coat behind like my step-mom did on our trip to New Orleans. Big hassle!)
  • Arrive at the airport two hours ahead of time for domestic flights and three hours for international travel.
  • Bring a great book or magazine or just relax and people-watch while you wait for your flight. IMO, there is no better people-watching than what you find in airport terminals.
Got any travel tips to share? Leave a comment at

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!