Posts Tagged ‘TSA’

Shipping Wine? Think Again!

Posted in 3-1-1 Liquids Bans, Packing Liquids, Shipping Wine, Travel, TSA Regulations on April 21st, 2021 by – 16 Comments

Heard the rumors lately? I’ve been hearing through the grape vine (no pun intended!) various concerns about wine transportation in air travel. These are mostly due to the new regulations of various airlines and the TSA (Transportation Security Administration).  These regulations can lead to hassles and delays for both leisure and business travelers.  Some organizations need specialty wine at conferences for whatever reason and need wine shipped to these conference locations. So these businesses have to create an entire plan just to ship wine! Below are a few points that may be helpful if you’re caught in this situation:

What is your state law?
There are three major categories that any wine lover should consider before shipping wine to or from their travel location.  Make sure you are aware of your state’s law before you book your next wine trip or plan to send a wine gift.

1. Reciprocal states: Reciprocity requires the legislative cooperation of other states to recognize a two-way shipment privilege.  This means that only wineries in another reciprocal state can ship into the reciprocal states: Iowa and New Mexico.

2. States wine can be shipped to on a limited basis: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

3. States where wine shipping from direct to consumer is prohibited: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah

So with all of these restrictions and hassles, would a consumer still want to ship wine?  The TSA regulations do not allow travelers to carry wine or liquor on board these days, so you need to be able to safely pack these liquids in your checked luggage.  Socks and dirty clothes may have done the job in the past, but TSA can still confiscate your valuable liquids if they are not properly packed.  To ease the burden of TSA inspecting your luggage or worrying about shipping wine to your home state, what you need is a wine travel case! BottleWise Duo – The Ultimate Multipurpose Wine Travel System is your perfect solution to your wine travel needs by eliminating wine shipping hassles. It’s much more economical since it is a onetime investment for long-term enjoyment. Benefits of having a wine travel case like BottleWise Duo is that you have your favorite wine with you whenever you travel, and you don’t have to worry about state regulations for wine shipping. Free the grapes by giving your vino the freedom to travel safely and comfortably in the BottleWise Duo wine travel case!

BottleWise is committed to manufacturing high-quality bags that make life easier for the discriminating culinary traveler and is founded by Amy Dias  – adias@bottlewise.com.

Electronic gadgets – To pack or not to pack?

Posted in Electronics, Travel on April 20th, 2021 by – 17 Comments

While electronic gadgets were created for convenience and entertainment, sometimes they can be frustrating at places like airport security checkpoints. This is an alert for our tech junkies with gadgets like laptops, laptop accessories, MP3 players, iPod, pager, cell phone, Kindle, video game consoles, video cameras, DVD players and much, much more.

I can completely understand the fun in listening to your favorite music, watching a movie filled with humor, or playing a thrilling game that makes time fly while on a plane. However, the TSA says Pay now, Play later. If we follow the TSA rules, we can have a fun enjoyable flight. All we need to do as travelers is pay attention to their rules especially for the electronic gadgets and it will make our security process smooth and neat.

Few quick gadget security tips:
Simplify…have only the electronic gadgets, which are crucial on your journey. This can quickly add up though between your laptop, phone, iPod, GPS and Kindle.  Besides the laptop and dvd player, many of your electronics can stay stored in your carry-on while passing through security – even your Kindle!  TSA prefers that you put most of your electronics in your carry-on as it makes it easier to screen the devices.  I once was pulled aside in security for an iPod docking station (last minute purchase).  I didn’t even think it was something that would be a concern…but it was!

Most corporate travelers have their laptops in their carry-on luggage. The best thing to do is to have laptops in checkpoint friendly bags. For more information on the styles, visit http://tinyurl.com/358hojk .  The seasoned business traveler has this process down to a science.  It really is important though for the average traveler to keep all the electronics organized.  Mini, convenient packing cubes are perfect for packing cords and small electronics.

Don’t be surprised if you are requested to switch off all your battery-powered devices. While packing your carry-ons, make sure the electronic gadgets are organized to make the screening process easier. If not, your bags have to undergo additional screening process, which would be more time consuming.

Every airport within U.S and international airports have similar regulations for electronic gadgets. If you are planning for a domestic or international travel, it is highly recommended to check the electronic regulations for the country.  You wouldn’t want your favorite gadget to end up in the hands of TSA in another country…never to be seen again!

What is the ONE gadget you can’t stand to travel without?  Have you ever had electronics confiscated?  Please share your gadget drama.

BottleWise is committed to manufacturing high-quality bags that make life easier for the discriminating culinary traveler and is founded by Amy Dias (adias@bottlewise.com).

Neo’s Trip (and everyone else’s)

Posted in Airline Fees, Airline Service Charges, Travel on April 20th, 2021 by – 14 Comments

Let me introduce you to a guy called Neo. Yes, it may be a peculiar name, but Neo has a story that is familiar to us all. Neo is a frequent flyer who is planning a trip from Chicago to San Francisco. He knows a lot about the TSA (Travel and Security Authority) so he tries to plan ahead.  However, there are a few unplanned charges that frustrated Neo. Let’s see what he has to share with us:

  • We are in a new era of air travel — it’s dominated by fees for services that were once included in the ticket price. The fee increases have been spurred by growing fuel prices.
  • Some airlines are struggling. These companies charge more fees on fliers.
  • Charges are based on several categories including reservations and frequent flier programs.
  • According to the Air Transport Association, fuel now makes up roughly 40% ticket price of most airlines, up from 25% last year.
  • Need to change your itinerary? Altering an international itinerary could add $200 to your budget. (Eg. United Airlines has hiked its ticket-changing charge from $100 to $150. And though Delta’s charge starts at a humble $30, that’s only for changes made to reservations made through Delta.com and typically ends up being $150.)
  • Checked Baggage Fee: American Airlines is charging many of its passengers an additional $15 fee for their first checked bag. Are you planning a trip to Florida with golf clubs? $25 each way on some airlines. Checked bags have to be a certain weight (51-70 pounds/71-100 pounds),a certain size (63-80 total inches), and each additional bag you check in costs extra.
  • In Flight Services:

Meal/Snack – Not available or available for a charge. (No more complimentary snacks or meals!)
Beverages: Alcoholic/Non-alcoholic (for a fee, of course!)
Headset (sometimes for a fee)
Wi-Fi (also sometimes for a fee)
Pillow/Blanket
Unaccompanied Minor: Age 5 – 7
Pet aboard
Fee to change flight to same destination on day of departure – $40 -$200
Want to redeem reward miles? $25 handling fee, maybe even a $100 penalty.

Forbes Traveler’s 10 Most Annoying Airline Fees
1. Checked Baggage – Less Luggage More Comfort $10 – $100
2. Talking to Real people – Book ticket through a representative $10 – $25
3. Seat Preference $10 – $20
4. Rewards Redemption – Redeem miles without sufficient notice $75 – $100
5. Curbside Check-In – Tip not included $2 – $3+
6. Traveling with a Child or a Pet $10 – $100 and up
7. Changing a Reservation – Proper planning prevents additional expenses $30 – $200
8. Paper Ticket – Go Green or Pay Green $50 – $70
9. Airport improvement – Ticket cost accrual $4.50 – $20+
10. Fuel Surcharge – Whether you drive or fly you have to pay for the gas $30 – $300
11. Airport Parking – Get a ride from your friend or family $5 -$50 per

What has your experience been recently with these fees?  What has been the most outrageous fee you where charged, and for what?  Any secrets to reveal on how to avoid them?

Should I Check My Bags or Ship Them?

Posted in Packing Tips, Travel, Travel Tips on April 17th, 2021 by – Be the first to comment

You probably assume that checking your luggage is the cheaper option, even though you’re stuck paying the airline about $25 for the first bag (each way) and $35 for the second, not to mention additional fees for heavy or large items. And sometimes it is. But not always, says Susan Foster, author of Smart Packing for Today’s Traveler (Smart Travel Press, $20, amazon.com). So before you jet off, it’s worth doing the math. If your baggage is unusually heavy or bulky, shipping may be a better deal—provided that you don’t send your Samsonite overnight or by two-day mail, says Jami Counter, a senior director of Seatguru.com, a travel-resource site. Case in point: UPS can ship a 75-pound box from New York City to Orlando, Florida, for $57. Checking an item that heavy would probably cost between $100 and $175—one way. Get quotes from the two options that you have for shipping: a standard delivery or courier service, such as FedEx or DHL, or a specialty luggage handler—particularly useful for bulky items, like skis—such as Sports Express (sportsexpress.com).

You should also consider shipping your baggage if you want to hit the ground running at your destination (which means skipping the luggage carousel), or if you want to be assured that those bags will be waiting for you when you arrive, says Peter Greenberg, a travel editor for CBS News. “Shipping is an especially good idea if you have a connecting flight, which increases the risk that your bags will be misplaced,” says Greenberg. And delivery services offer far more bells and whistles than air carriers, says Counter, such as superior insurance, better tracking, and, best of all, picking up your luggage at your home. No schlepping!

Article by Vera Gibbons, Real Simple

Traveling with KIDS?

Posted in 3-1-1 Liquids Bans, Family Travel, Packing Liquids, Travel on March 15th, 2012 by – 12 Comments

With spring break upon us and summer vacations quickly approaching, parents are typically more nervous than excited as they prepare for a vacation with their lively kids in tow. As many know, traveling with kids can be stressful. Fear not, we have a few tips to easily prepare parents to think ahead and get organized for their vacation.  This will transform your vacation with kids into an “expedition of amusement” rather than a bitter experience.

Here are a few things to have prepared when traveling with kids:

1) A detailed agenda and tour plan of the places you are planning to visit.
2) Copies of all schedules and time lines to various places to cover.
3) Kids should be actively involved in certain activities such as:

  • Putting together your trip ideas
  • Planning out activities to do on vacation
  • Making family rules during vacation
  • Having a small rewards and penalties if the rule was broken
  • Assigning roles based on age group such as food carrier, water carrier, photographer, etc.
  • Collecting memorable items like tickets, brochures, pictures, etc.

4) Family games, cards, checkers,art supplies.  Many games come in travel form which are perfect for planes, trains and cars.

5) Electronic devices for kids(big and small) like cameras, laptops, DVD players, hand held games.  Don’t forget extra batteries and chargers.  Taking a GPS along is perfect for exploring your new destination and finding points of interests.

6)  Have a supply of healthy snacks on hand.  Don’t count of the airlines for much more than a drink and a bag of pretzels.
7) Packing your baggage:

  • Limit check in luggage. Try to have carry on luggage and have backpacks for each kid and allow them to carry their own stuff. This will save you money and time.
  • Pack light clothes, sweaters, jackets, beach wears, shoes.  The more items each individual can wear, the easier it is to pack and keep items to a minimum.  Ideally your destination has laundry facilities to do a quick load if necessary.
  • Follow TSA’s 311 rules when are packing the liquids, gels, toothpaste, shampoo and other stuff for your kids. These are all important for your kids, but at the same time are restricted to carry on the planes in great volumes.

Packing the family’s items can sometimes be quite a challenge, one parent commented, “Nowadays opening my baggage after a trip can be full of surprises. I only wish that I don’t end up having a toothpaste stained shirt and shampoo covered pants.” A few great products that will come in handy when packing toiletries are Pitotubes and GoToobs. Often packing many of our daily necessities slips our mind and it is often a pain to carry full size products, make sure you have the TravelRite travel kit, which will make your life so much simpler. All of these items meet TSA 3-1-1 regulations so you can use them in your carry-on luggage.  Shop www.BottleWise.com.

Pitotubes Quart Size

Family vacations can be fun, enjoyable, memorable, cherishing and adventurous. Don’t let the detail of packing and planning ruin a family memory.  It  pays to plan ahead.  Have some planning trips that have worked for you and your family in the past, we would love to hear them!

BottleWise is committed to manufacturing high-quality bags that make life easier for the discriminating culinary traveler and is founded by Amy Dias (adias@bottlewise.com)

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Carry-Ons: Right vs. Wrong

Posted in 3-1-1 Liquids Bans, Packing Liquids, Travel, TSA Regulations on February 7th, 2012 by – Be the first to comment

Sue Ellen: average height, slender build, simply dressed, frazzled mind, and bloodshot eyes. She’s a smart woman, but let’s face it, she’s been working hard. It’s 11:30 PM and Sue Ellen has yet to pack for her trip to New York City tomorrow at 5:00 AM.

So what results? Sue Ellen grabs an energy shot and begins a whirl of activity. She dumps in three pairs of slacks, a skirt, four blouses, a scarf, three blazers, a jewelry box and her mismatched, dirtied, TSA approved zip-lock bag into an over sized duffel bag. On top of that she throws in her two pairs of bulky high-heeled shoes. Of course, her laptop fits in there….somewhere. Finally the miscellaneous items: a snack bar, her iPod, headphones, portfolios and a few pens. All in all, her bag is a dump yard.

Alright, so we already have a bad feeling about this scenario. Let’s fast-forward and see how it pans out. A tired, sleepy Sue Ellen arrives at the airport and hurries through check-in. She lugs her duffel bag through security but is stopped. Her bag has to go through another security check. The attendant dumps out all her bag’s contents. The zip-lock bag has opened and ruined her good slacks and shoes. Her nice blouses are wrinkled. The security attendant discards her zip-lock and allows her to proceed. Not only do the few minutes cause Sue Ellen to miss her flight, but she has no toiletries and soiled clothing. What a great start to her business trip!

Now if we back track, we can see that the crucial point was Sue Ellen’s hurried packing job. Could she have done things differently? Yes, perhaps she could have. Here are few tips that may have helped her out to pack her carry-on bag:

  • Pack in layers and be organized. Rolling clothing helps reduce wrinkles and saves space.
  • Don’t over-pack clothes and shoes.  Many outfits can be mixed and matched over a few days.
  • Invest in one piece of carry on luggage that is easy to pack and fits nicely in the crowded overhead bins.
  • Pack a second carry-on (backpack, handbag or computer case) with your laptop or electronics you need access to easily on your flight.
  • Pack items that need to be removed in security (toiletries, computer, etc) in one carry-on. This avoid having to rustle through both of your approved carry-on pieces.
  • Use travel-size bottles for cream and liquids that aren’t bigger than 3 oz.
  • All liquids should fit into a quart sized, transparent plastic bag
  • Declare or discard any liquids that you have (baby formula, juice, medications, bottled water, etc.)before getting into line.  You are not only going to delay yourself, but others behind you.

Most of the above is pretty simple. The only challenge is getting those liquids under control. Who wants to be running around the last minute, tearing the house apart for small containers to put shampoo in? After all that hard work, you won’t even be sure that those liquids won’t leak! As cabin pressure changes, often liquids are caused to leak out of containers. Who wants to deal with that?

This is why BottleWise offers travelers  few alternatives to help make packing your toiletries at various price points. TravelRite Kit comes with TSA approved bottles with tops and a see-through plastic bag. If you’re more of the simple type or just new a few leakproof bottles, Go Toobs are for you. If the cabin pressure has been messing with your plastic bottles, then a great thing to do is check out Pitotubes; they don’t let those liquids leak!

Be sure to check out our great savings on all of our toiletry items to make your next trip mess free!  Safe Travels.

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Security Checkpoint – A Pit Stop in your journey

Posted in 3-1-1 Liquids Bans, Packing Liquids, Travel, TSA Regulations, TSA Restricted Items on January 30th, 2012 by – 1 Comment

Imagine this…you’re planning a trip from your home in the city of Chicago to Washington DC, which would be roughly a two hour journey by flight. But, you’ve got to keep in mind that the security checks prior to the journey will waste two whole hours of your valuable time. No matter frequent of a traveler, there’s no way around the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) rules. You still have to stand in long lines and disrobe yourself multiple times. Doesn’t that become a pain? Of course, but proper planning always helps. Especially in travel nowadays, it really makes much more sense to plan with the increasing rules from the TSA. Let’s see what the travelers have on their mind about the security check…

Can I carry my favorite shampoo and toothpaste?
You can carry limited amounts (3 oz. gel or liquid) in your carry-on. Good news! There are several great products on the market that make packing your favorite shampoos, creams and makeup a breeze.  GoToobs are a compact, reusable and inexpensive solution.

I need my prescription medication and how about food for my baby?
Thank goodness, they are exempt from the rules. However to expedite the process place these items in their original labeled containers.

I’m a photographer, is it safe to have my film rolls in carry-on?
X-Ray machines for carry-on are considered safe. It would be better to carry the rolls in clear plastic bag. Depending on the number of security check points during your travel and minimal exposure is better.

What can I expect in passenger screening?
Unlike your baggage, which undergoes X-Ray exposure, you, as a passenger, don’t have to do the same thing. However, it is mandatory to remove your shoes, place your cell phone and any other metal items like keys along to be screened as well.

I am going on a wine tour in the Fall, how can I bring home a few bottles of wine? Unfortunately, with the new TSA regulations, you must pack any liquids over 3 oz in your checked baggage.    There are a few products on the market that make packing large, fragile bottles of liquid a breeze!  The BottleWise Duo easily packs two bottles of wine or spirits in your luggage.  This bag is reusable and lightweight!

Last but not least, it is always better not to argue with the TSA authorities if they confiscate something from you. Argument never makes the situation better, especially with the security authorities. If they feel that your nail clippers might be a potential danger, just say, “So be it!” and pass the security check. You don’t want to miss your flight with such expensive tickets for something that is worth less than a dollar.

What have you had confiscated by TSA in your journeys recently?

BottleWise is committed to manufacturing high-quality bags that make life easier for the discriminating culinary traveler and is founded by Amy Dias (adias@bottlewise.com)

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Less graphic body scanning machines being tested

Posted in Travel, TSA Regulations, TSA Restricted Items on November 9th, 2011 by – Be the first to comment

Tests are beginning on a software change in airport passenger scanning machines that will discontinue the display of personal body characteristics while still promising to catch questionable objects, the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday.


“We believe it addresses the privacy issues,” Administrator John Pistole told reporters at a demonstration of the new software, now being tested at Reagan Washington National Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

If the field trials are successful, the software will be put into the advanced imaging technology machines already being used at airports across the country.

Privacy advocates and many air passengers have expressed concern about the level of personal detail the machines provide in their current configuration, even though the agency tried to mitigate those concerns by having the officers who viewed the images sit in a remote location so they could not connect any image to a particular passenger.

In Tuesday’s demonstration, Transportation Security staffers walked into one of the newly configured machines and stopped with their arms raised, as passenger being scanned are asked to do. A small video monitor near the unit’s exit displayed the results for both the passenger and the security officer operating the machine.

Those who deliberately carried objects were detected and portrayed as generic human outlines, with regions of their body highlighted by a box indicating additional security attention was warranted.

Those who carried no questionable objects saw a screen that was green with “OK” in the middle.

Pistole acknowledged Transportation Security workers will no longer be able to see the shape and size of the questionable objects that are detected by the machines.

“That’s one of the things we’ll be assessing in our pilot testing at the three airports,” he said. “How do the security officers engage the passenger based on what they’re seeing, and is there any diminution of efficiency in terms of what we’re doing?”

The software upgrade takes several hours per scanning machine, but involves very little additional cost, officials said. When the new software is installed, it will no longer be possible for TSA workers to observe detailed characteristics of the subjects’ bodies.

“We don’t intend to leave the monitors in place when we go to retrofit the software,” said Robin Kane, the Transportation Security Administration’s chief technology officer. “The way we will have them in the field they will not run concurrently.”

Kane ruled out reinstating a detailed visual capability even when a threat level is raised.

Sen. Susan Collins, the ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, welcomed the new software. She has been among the most vocal of the critics calling for a change in the whole-body scanning procedure to address privacy concerns.

“We have the technology that will eliminate the need for American air travelers to choose between their privacy and security when they choose to fly,” she said in a news release.

“I understand that the machines being installed in this pilot program do not emit radiation,” she added. “Although the TSA assures me that some of the machines in use that emit radiation do not pose a health risk, it is preferable to use technology that avoids exposure.”

Some 2,000 “whole body” test images from advanced imaging technology machines were the subject of a recent court challenge by people concerned about an invasion of privacy, but a judge ruled against releasing those images, saying it might disclose capabilities to potential terrorists.

Machines in use for the general public do not record images, authorities say.

Last month’s federal court decision was a setback for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which had sued the government for release of material to determine how the technology would affect privacy and civil liberty concerns.

By Paul Courson, CNN

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