10 Annoying Travel Rules That Could Ruin Your Holiday

By Jemima Lopez

Traveling to see family and friends during the holidays can be a very stressful endeavor. The unexpected delays, treacherous weather, and massive crowds at the airport are only worsened by the long list of irritating travel rules that keep you from getting to your destination with ease. Before you hop on a plane to see your loved ones this holiday season, be sure to pack your patience because it's going to be a long trip. Check out these 10 annoying travel rules that could ruin your holiday:

  1. Turn off all electronics

    One of the biggest complaints among airline passengers is being told to turn off their cell phones and all other electronics before the flight starts. Many passengers don't get why you can read a book or talk with your neighbor while ignoring the flight attendant's safety demonstration, but you can't listen to your iPod or play Angry Birds before take-off. There is still a great deal of debate regarding the impact of electronic interference caused by cell phones and other electronic devices, but until this theory is proven or disproved, you're still going to have to turn off your cell phone or put it in airplane mode.

  2. Required full-body scans

    We know the days of zipping through security checks are long gone, but the introduction of whole-body scans at the airport makes the experience even more awkward and invasive. The full-body imaging technology gives airport security the ability to detect well hidden weapons and explosives better than metal detectors. But, with this advanced technology comes less privacy for passengers. The 360-degree rotating scanner generates a nude image of the body, giving security personnel a good look at, well, everything.

  3. Laptops are checked separately

    Traveling with a laptop has become a major annoyance for travelers who want to take their work with them or watch movies on the plane. Laptops have to be removed from their cases and scanned separately, which can add an extra 10 minutes to your security screening. If you anticipate running late and rushing to the gate, it may be best to leave the laptop at home.

  4. Liquid carry-on rule

    One of the most annoying rules of flying nowadays is the 3-1-1 liquid rule for carry-ons. Passengers who want to carry on their bags, including liquids, aerosols, and gels, have to make sure that all liquids meet TSA's specific volume and packaging requirements. Forget trying to carry on your mother's favorite wine or a bottle of cologne for your dad this holiday season, unless it's 3.4 ounces or less. Any gifts that don't meet the 3-1-1 rule will probably be confiscated.

  5. Passing a pat-down

    As if setting off a metal detector isn't embarrassing enough, passengers are subject to even more harassment with the infamous pat-down. Pat-downs have become more common and even more invasive than before. Worst of all — everyone is subject to frisking by security. If you're trying to avoid the ever-so-embarrassing pat-down this holiday season, clean out your pockets and leave your metal at home.

  6. Only passengers can go to the gate

    Gone are the days of escorting passengers to and from the gate at airports. After 9/11, non-passengers were no longer allowed to greet and say goodbye to passengers at the gate. There are certain exceptions for children and elderly passengers, who are traveling alone and need assistance getting to the gate. Military families and oxygen providers are also permitted to go through security with a gate pass. So, unless you've got a gate pass, or a really, really good excuse, you'll probably have to say your goodbyes at drop-off this holiday season.

  7. Remove your shoes at security

    TSA requires passengers to remove their shoes before entering the screening technology. This safety procedure is annoying anytime of the year, but it's especially irritating during Christmastime, when you're most likely wearing winter boots or shoes with laces which take extra time to take off and put back on.

  8. Wrapped gifts will be opened

    If you're traveling this holiday season, save yourself the trouble and don't wrap your gifts until after the flight. Security officers have the right to inspect any package and will unwrap gifts to do so. Don't waste your time wrapping gifts that are probably going to be opened by the wrong person this holiday season.

  9. Baggage allowance is up to 50 pounds

    For most airlines, baggage allowance is up to 50 pounds per bag. Anything over 50 pounds is subject to additional fees, which can drain your holiday budget in no time. If you're an over-packer, traveling with a lot of gifts, or going on a long trip, get ready to cut down or pay more to check your bags this holiday season.

  10. No cash allowed

    Most air carriers have gone cashless, so food, drinks, TV, and duty-free items can only be purchased with plastic. If you're not a card carrier, then you'd better be prepared to supply yourself with snacks and entertainment before stepping on the plane this holiday season.

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