Travel | December 22, 2022 1:24 pm

Not Sure What You’re Allowed to Bring on the Plane? Just Text TSA.

Don't be the guy holding up the line because you packed a Magic 8 Ball

A person texting on a smartphone. The TSA now offers flyers the option to text to ask what's allowed in their carry-on bags.
Text before you fly.
Getty

Alcoholic beverages over 140 proof, hatchets, bear spray, bowling pins, cast iron cookware, corkscrews, cutting boards, foam toy swords, gel heating pads, Magic 8 Balls and rainbow flame crystals. These are a just handful of the items, per the TSA website, that you cannot bring in your carry-on bag with you.

While most of us know that you can’t bring liquids in excess of 3.4 ounces or firearms in your carry-on (although, somehow the knowledge hasn’t deterred a record number of travelers from trying to bring loaded guns onto planes in recent years), a Magic 8 Ball feels a little less obvious…even for the most discerning of jet-setters.

Here’s the good news: as previously reported by The Points Guy, the TSA has just launched a new text-based option to get answers to all of your urgent packing-related questions.

It’s simple enough to use. All you have to do is text “TRAVEL” to AskTSA (or 275-872). The automated service provides responses 24 hours a day and, on top of that, there are TSA experts are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. 

As Melissa Klurman notes at The Points Guy, “The interface requires users to choose one of the following topics to get started: TSA PreCheck, What’s Allowed, Identification, Medical Questions, Damages/Claims and Other.” Obviously, if you need help figuring out what to pack, you’re going to text “What’s Allowed.” From there, you’ll choose either “Carryon” or “Checked” luggage, and ask your question. See? Easy.

Of course, you can also just reference TSA’s “What Can I Bring” page for quick answers and/or endless entertainment. But please, do your research ahead of time. Traveling during the holidays is stressful enough as it is, particularly when you factor in a bomb cyclone two days before Christmas. Don’t be the guy holding up the security line because you forgot to check your Magic 8 Ball.