In advance of Sukkos, the Transportation and Security Administration reminded its airport screeners and the travelling public that Jewish travelers may carry the Arba Minim through security checkpoints and onboard planes.
The announcement appears to forestall incidents that tend to happen each year, especially at international gateways. During the holiday season, many of the travelers who carry the Four Species with them are Chabad-Lubavitch rabbinical students en route to Jewish communities not traditionally served by full-time rabbis, where they assist in providing holiday services.
The following is the complete message released by the TSA:
The Jewish Holiday of Sukkot will commence on the evening of Wednesday, September, 18, 2013 to the evening of Wednesday, September 25, 2013. The travel season will begin approximately one week before, on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 and will continue to approximately one week, Wednesday, October 4, 2013, past the end of Sukkot.
TSA’s screening procedures do not prohibit the carrying of the four plants used during Sukkot – a palm branch, myrtle twigs, willow twigs, and a citron – in airports, through or security checkpoints, or on airplanes. These plants or agricultural items are not on TSA’s Prohibited Items List. However, all persons and property will undergo security screening at the checkpoint.
Travelers requiring special accommodations or concerned about checkpoint screening may ask a checkpoint officer or supervisor for a Passenger Support Specialist who will provide on-the-spot assistance. Travelers may also request a Passenger Support specialist ahead of time by calling the TSA Cares hotline at 1-855-787-2227.
To inquire about screening procedures or provide feedback, call or email the TSA Contact Center at 1-866-289-9673 and TSA-ContactCenter@tsa.dhs.gov.