MADISON, Wis. - Officials from the Transportation Security Administration visited the Dane County Regional Airport on Friday afternoon ahead of what they expect to be a busy travel season to warn flyers about prohibited carry-on items.
The TSA also displayed items that had been seized at the airport's security line. The agency has seized everything from replica guns to brass knuckles to knives disguised in lipstick containers from people flying out of Madison.
Mark Lendvay, the TSA's federal security director for Wisconsin, said his agency expects 2.3 million people to travel by air nationwide this summer, a significant uptick over the past five years.
Banned carry-on items -- such as real or replica weapons, banned hardware, and liquids in containers larger than 3.4 ounces -- can make an airport wait worse for everyone, Lendvay said.
"It slows down the process," he said. "In some instances, we have to shut the lane down."
Carrying a weapon on board, even unintentionally, can also come with legal consequences, he said.
He said most seizures at the nation's airports come from travelers who inadvertently brought a banned item in their carry-on luggage.
"Ninety-nine point nine percent (of the time), most people have a non-nefarious intent," Lendvay said.
The easiest way to fly through security and get on your way is to follow simple advice, officials said.
"Take a look at your bag before you show up at the airport," Lendvay said.
Most prohibited items can be taken in a checked bag. Lendvay said there's one item, however, that must be carried in a carry-on: spare lithium-ion batteries. There are concerns that the batteries could spark a fire in an airplane's cargo hold.
Travelers can find out what items can be taken in their carry-on bags by visiting the TSA's website. Travelers with questions about whether they can bring an item onboard with them can also contact the agency through its @AskTSA Twitter account.
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