Travelers getting ready for Thanksgiving

Estimated 3.2 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more this week for Thanksgiving

Published: Monday, Nov. 19 2012 5:15 p.m. MST

Some items are banned from carry-on luggage and checked-in luggage altogether, such as grenades or anything that looks like a grenade. Adams said there have been incidents where an artist has made an old grenade into a sculpture or a piece of art. The grenades are disarmed and can no longer explode. But they are still not acceptable on airline flights.

"If it's a realistic replica or an inert real one, it's also considered a prohibited item," she said, noting that just the site of a real-looking grenade could cause a panic.

The real problem for TSA screeners isn't guns, but rather contact solution, shampoo or any other liquid that isn't in a 3-ounce container. Adams said travelers need to remember the restrictions on liquids. She also cautioned travelers not to try to take wrapped presents through screening, noting that if there is a question about a package, it will have to be unwrapped and checked.

"We don't want all the nice effort to go to waste," she said, adding that gift bags are a better way to go.

While many of these restrictions may seem burdensome or an inconvenience to travelers, Adams said the TSA is only trying to keep people safe.

"The threat is still very real. There are certainly people who would like to harm American aviation, so all of the security procedures that are in place today are specifically to address that threat," she said.

In addition to flying, Fairclough said an estimated 215,000 people in the Mountain West are expected to travel this Thanksgiving by a mode of transportation other than plane or private automobile, such as a boat, train or bus. It's a 4.9 percent increase over last year, she said.

For those traveling by ground, Fairclough said, the good news is that gas prices have been dropping. In the past week, the average price for a gallon of gas in Utah has dropped from $3.71 to $3.65, she said.

Families driving long distances, especially those traveling in areas where there could be winter weather, should keep at least a half-tank of gas in their vehicles at all times, Fairclough said. Other winter driving tips include keeping a blanket, gloves, hats and food in the car; staying with the vehicle if it gets stuck in snow; and making sure the exhaust isn't plugged with snow.

KSL meteorologist Grant Weyman said most Utahns shouldn't have to worry about snow this weekend. The forecast calls for a windy travel day Wednesday as a storm hits to the north of Utah in the Washington, Oregon and Idaho areas. The forecast for southern Utah on Wednesday and Thursday is breezy and warm.

And if drivers have a little too much to drink at Grandma's house this weekend, AAA Utah again is offering its Tipsy Tow program. On Nov. 22 and Nov. 23, if a person is too drunk to drive, they can call AAA and have a tow truck take both the driver and their vehicle home.

In the past, Fairclough said, it wasn't enough just to offer a drunk driver a ride home.

"People would take the chance of driving home when they've had too much to drink. They didn't want the hassle of having to get their car the next day," she said.

The Tipsy Tow number is 800-222-4357.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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