wrapped presents ok to take on a plane?

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Jun 17, 2004
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BF is going home to CT for xmas. is it ok for him to take wrapped presents? will they make him unwrap them at security? if so, is it ok to put them into checked baggage? (we never check baggage, we always carry on because its a PITA.)

this sounds like a silly question, but i never know whats ok and what isnt anymore.

Hmmm... good question! I think if you check them - or carry on, wouldn't they just run em' through the xray machines? That would be pretty dumb... "Now sir, we're gonna have to ask you to sit here and unwrap all these gifts" LOL

see, i figured that they could just xray them like usual, but i heard that they make you open them. i dont want to waste the effort and supplies to wrap them for no reason. i tried to look around on the airport/airline/govt websites, and theyre no help at all.

Saw this on one site...

Before you head to the Airport this season, take a few moments to

read through these tips from the Transportation Security Administration

for smooth, hassle-free traveling.


1. Do not pack undeveloped film in your checked baggage. To avoid

damage, undeveloped film and cameras with film should be

packed in carry-on baggage.

2. Do not pack food and drinks in checked baggage, since it must

pass through an X-ray machine.

3. Do not pack prohibited items (visit www.tsa.dot.gov or check

with your airline for a complete listing).

4. Pack your personal belongings in clear plastic bags to reduce

the chance that a TSA screener will handle them.

5. Avoid overpacking so your bag can be easily closed if it is opened

for inspection.

6. Check with your airline to learn the number of bags you may

bring and weight or size limitations.

7. Place ID tags with your name, address and phone number on

the inside and outside of all your bags.


1. Wait to wrap gifts until you arrive at your destination. Wrapped

gifts in checked or carry-on baggage may need to be opened

for inspection.

2. You may also ship wrapped gifts ahead of time.

Clothing and personal items

1. Avoid wearing jewelry, clothing or hair accessories containing metal.

2. Place jewelry, keys, change, mobile phones, PDAs, lighters and

other metal items in your carry-on baggage until you pass

through security.

3. Remove your computer from its case and place it in a bin

for inspection.

4. Leave prohibited items such as pocketknives and metal scissors

with pointed tips at home. Otherwise, you will be asked to

surrender them or take them to your car before passing

through security.

5. Remove your coat so it can pass through the X-ray machine.


1. Ask your airline or travel agent how early you should arrive.

2. Be sure to allow time for parking and shuttle transportation.

3. Bring a boarding pass, ticket or ticket confirmation and a

government-issued photo ID. (Children under 18 do not

require an ID.)

Here’s to smooth travels and happy holidays this season!

thank you. thats very helpful.
sigh. maybe we should just mail them, but thatll cost an arm and a leg. if BF wraps them when he gets there, i fear he'll use tin foil or the funny pages.

Hmm... this is a tough one. I'm not sure what they would do...I would think they would just X-ray the packages but if they can't see what's in the packages with the X-ray then they would open it. I wonder if they would be better off in a check-in luggage. I'm sure a lot of people take X-mas presents with them during the holiday season and carry them in their luggage.

im still trying to decide if he should just check them or if he should take them unwrapped. do they still open luggage to test it for bombs or whatnot when you check in?

I don't think they open them when you check them in. I think they do pick some luggage randomly and open them after you check them in though. At least that has happened to my parents a lot. They have received their luggage after the flight looking like it was opened and everything inside has been searched. I don't know how they were even opened but they were. Maybe see if you can call the airline that he will be flying and see what they say before you go through too much trouble of wrapping the gifts.

i think i will. thank you.
BF has to take two flights to get there since we live in the middle of nowhere. ill have to grill him to get him to tell me which airlines hes taking, because hse such a man when it comes to things like that.

a few years ago, they made everyone unwrap their gifts. i think they're getting better, but it would be his luck that they make him unwrap it @ the checkpoint. best thing to do is leave it unwrapped, but send him w/some wrapping paper so he doesn't get "creative."

I read in a magazine that you should NOT wrap gifts and you should just wait and wrap them at your destination or ship them, as NYangel posted. You could always pack some of that flat wrapping paper to be sure that he doesn't use foil or funny papers!

I'm sure you could take your chances, but might be better to just not wrap them ahead of time - then you have no worries!

thanks girls.
i havent called yet, but i decided to just send them with im unwrapped. thanks for all the advice.


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