Spooky season is upon us – and you might be wondering if you can travel as your favorite creepy alter ego. With air travel, being able to prove your identity is crucial, so the rule of thumb is to stay away from costumes or makeup that may give you a hard time verifying that you are indeed the passenger that is meant to be on the flight. However, if you’re after a smooth traveling process, this is not the only guideline you need to stick to.

“Tricky” or treat

US Airlines TSA Airport Security

Photo: Getty Images

Traveling by flight could be quite tricky when you’re dressed in costume. While airlines typically do not have rules that explicitly restrict Halloween costumes, most have terms of carriage that allow carriers to bar passengers who are not dressed to meet their conditions.

American Airlines’ contract of carriage permits staff to refuse boarding passengers who are inappropriately or offensively dressed. JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines also have similar stipulations.

Dressing up for Halloween is allowed if your costume does not go against the airline’s conditions of carriage. Generally, as long as the outfit does not cause inconvenience or distress to other passengers, it should be allowed on flights.

Dress up, pat down

Gary Kelly

Photo: Southwest Airlines

Airlines, however, are not the only gatekeepers standing in the way of in-costume travel. Security is a prime concern for air travel, which means costumes will need to meet the requirements of airport security.

Luckily, with so many people traveling as their ghoul of choice, the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has come up with a guide for those flying in costume.

The TSA highlights that some costumes could trigger an alarm at the checkpoint body scanner, resulting in the need for a pat-down. The Administration suggests that travelers put on their costumes only after they have passed through the security checkpoint.

Bombs (and props) away

Las Vegas Innovation Checkpoint

Photo: FTE

If you do decide to ignore the tip and come dressed in character before passing through security, do note that any form of weapon (yes, even fakes) is not allowed through checkpoints. The TSA recommends that travelers pack their faux chainsaws, swords, and pitchforks in checked bags instead.

Replica explosives – bombs, grenades, and the like – are strongly advised against. These will automatically be assumed as the real deal until TSA officers determine them to be props. Not only will this significantly delay the security process for everyone at the checkpoint, but you may also be served with a fine.

Keep it local


Photo: Getty Images.

Since these guidelines were provided by American carriers and the TSA, you’re likely better off skipping the costume if you’re traveling internationally – just to be on the safe side. Halloween may not be as big of a tradition in other countries as in the US, which means security in your arriving country might be less understanding when it comes to costumes.

So, can you fly in costume at Halloween? In short – yes, you can! As long as you follow the rules and guides and travel domestically within the United States, traveling in costume for Halloween could be a fun experience for all.

Source: Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Source: simpleflying.com

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