Travel Advice: Holiday Flying

Q. I'm taking a rare flight to see my sister and her family for Christmas, and a friend told me not to bring wrapped gifts. Is she right?

A. Your friend speaks the truth. The Transportation Security Administration warns that wrapped gifts — in carry-on and checked bags — may get unwrapped by a TSA agent. Just be safe and wrap after you arrive.

Here are a few other (unsolicited) tips for infrequent travels this holiday season. The airport will be crowded, so it's best to check-in online and print your boarding pass at home; you can do so beginning 24 hours before a flight. Remember the TSA 3-1-1 rule. In carry-ons, liquids or gels must be in containers of 3 ounces or less, the containers must be placed in one clear quart-size zip-top bag and each passenger is allowed only one bag. That means that the special bottle of local wine or your strawberry preserves will have to go in the luggage you check. But be careful not to pack too much. Keep bags under 50 pounds or you'll face an onerous excess baggage fee. (Delta charges $90, one-way, for bags between 51 and 70 pounds for flights within the United States. Sun Country charges $75.)