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Knowing rules saves holiday travel stress

December 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
While many dread the potentially chaotic holiday traveling experience, experts maintain if you know what you're getting into, it doesn't have to be a hassle.With the holiday rush just days away, security officials are gearing up and they are recommending travelers do the same.

Some say knowing the rules can take a bulk of the hassle out of the trip.

"As long as you follow the rules and have everything ready to go for them, it's pretty easy," said traveler Jag Kumar.

While most know the rules by now, it only takes a few travelers who don't know to slow everyone down.

The problems are often still the obvious things like the amount of liquids allowed in bottles on a plane.

"It's a 3.4 ounce limit in a zip-top baggie, so if the passengers follow some simple rules when they come here, they're going to get through," said TSA official Nico Melendez.

The Los Angeles International Airport is expecting more travelers this year. The projected numbers are up by 1.3 percent.

Customs officers outlined some of the issues they encounter on international flights.

Produce from other countries is always a problem. It may taste good, but it could also carry harmful pests like fruit flies.

For those who travel out of country frequently, a new "trusted traveler program" could speed things up.

This Customs and Border Protection's program provides expedited travel for pre-approved, low-risk travelers through dedicated lanes and kiosks at airports.

"You might avoid a 30 to 45 minute wait. For the infrequent traveler it might not be worth it, but for the business traveler, it may definitely be worth it," said Border and Customs Enforcement agent Bruce Mulraney.

No matter where you are heading, the best advice is to leave early.

That means getting to the airport two hours before your flight for domestic travel and three hours for international flights.

Also, keep in mind that airlines are booking their flights as full as possible to try and save money. This means crowded planes, not many empty seats and not much space in the overhead storage areas.


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