Red Tape and Bags at T.F. Green in Rhode Island

The Oct. 28 letter by air traveler William O. Beeman ("Minn. airport does screening right") inquired why the Transportation Security Administration doesn't provide passengers with baggies at T.F. Green Airport or provide other customer services to expedite travelers through our screening checkpoint as they appear to do at Minneapolis/St. Paul.

By federal regulation, TSA cannot purchase bags at government expense to distribute to airline passengers. However, as at Minneapolis/St. Paul, T.F. Green's travelers have benefited from the generosity of some of our outstanding air carriers and airport vendors who are currently supplying travelers with baggies when they've forgotten their own.

TSA-Team Providence works to educate the public and answer the questions of passengers about the rules for traveling with liquids, gels and aerosols.

Since TSA took over passenger and baggage screening almost five years ago, we have worked very hard to educate travelers about the important role they play in airport security. TSA constantly updates its website () with everything travelers need to know about prohibited items. This month, we kicked off a public education effort called the "3-1-1 on Air Travel" to help passengers remember the rules for bringing liquids, gels and aerosols in carry-ons -- containers must be 3 ounces or smaller; all containers must fit inside one quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag, and TSA permits only one bag per passenger. There is still no limit on the quantity of liquids permitted in checked bags so, when in doubt, travelers should place all liquids and gels greater than three ounces in checked luggage.

These requirements are going to be in place for the foreseeable future. The public's efforts to learn the dos and don'ts of smart packing helps TSA keep the security lines moving and makes everyone's trip more enjoyable.



The writer is the TSA's federal security director at T.F. Green.

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