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Thread: Can I put Wrapped GIfts in my Checked Luggage?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Denver CO

    Can I put Wrapped GIfts in my Checked Luggage?

    I tried to find an answer to this on the TSA site. I know they can make you unwrap gifts at the screening area. but will they unwrap stuff in my checked suitcase? I am just going back east for a quick weekend and was going to save some postage by dropping off my gifts, but now I don't know. I can't pack tape, paper, bows, etc--too much trouble to wrap at my destination.
    TSA did say not to put large or heavy food items in your checked luggage, such as fruitcake because they can set off some alarms. I have a tin of cookies for my dad's b'day and I guess I will carry that on, unwrapped.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Falls Church, VA
    FWIW, having travelled by airplane every post-9/11 Christmas with lots of wrapped gifts, I think that the likelihood of having to unwrap a gift is far smaller than the inconvience of having to wrap everything at your destination. I have never been asked to unwrap a hand-carried gift nor have any of my wrapped checked-through gifts been touched.

    So, yes, you can put wrapped gifts in your checked luggage. The TSA reserves the right to unwrap them, but I bet that that they won't do so.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Connecticut shoreline
    Just to offer an option to gift wrapping - I frequently pack gifts unwrapped, plus appropriately sized gift bags and tissue paper folded flat in my checked luggage. When I get to my destination, it takes just a few minutes to unfold bags, and fill with gifts and tissue.

    Have a wonderful trip!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    way "upstate New York"
    Why would you want to take the chance of wrapping a gift, and then have it unwrapped, and having to do everything all over again!

  5. #5
    Like Jen, I've packed wrapped gifts in my luggage for Christmas and birthdays since 9/11. My bigger concern is that they'll get mashed or ripped during normal luggage handling- I've never had TSA open anything. The worst that could happen is I'd have to scramble to re-wrap at my destination, but it's never actually happened to me. Kathryn's idea of packing gift bags and tissue is a good one too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Not if you are the person in front me in line...

    But seriously, I would just pack the tissue and gift bags or ask the person you are visiting to stock up on paper and ribbon for you. That is what I do. It is easier to pack unwrapped gifts, too.
    For you to be here now, trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It's an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once.

    --Bill Bryson, "A Short History of Nearly Everything"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Lowell, MA
    They're going to x-ray your hand luggage and maybe even your checked bags so unless your gift is something that looks round with a fuse on it on an x-ray I doubt it would be any problem. I'd wrap and pack and like Stephanie said the worst that could happen is you might have to re-wrap something at your destination.

    When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and I could say “I used everything you gave me.”

    Erma Bombeck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Aurora, CO
    I would NOT wrap-I had airport security put a little 'thank you' card in my bags last year at Christmas, thanking me for leaving my gifts unwrapped. They will have to unwrap-even in your checked bags. Don't waste your time wrapping now. As an aside, I thought the note was a nice touch-since security gets a bad rap all the totally took me by surprise.

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