My sister Georgette once asked me if she could bring an orchid plant as a carry-on on her flight from Florida to New York. I said, “I’m not sure why you would want to but of course you can since you’re not traveling internationally and as long as the pot isn’t filled with liquid.” RELATED: 10 Airport Security Hacks Every Traveler Needs to Know

I also told her that if she doesn’t want to take my word for it, or any time she wants to know what she can bring through airport security, to ask the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). Believe it or not, they do an amazing job responding to questions and they’ve recently added a new method of communication with the public … text.

To show you and my sister how quick they work between the hours of 8am and 6pm ET, I tweeted the below question to @AskTSA at 9:38am PT (12:38pm ET):

@AskTSA Hi! My sister wants to know if she can bring an orchid plant through the security checkpoint? She’s flying domestically.

Four minutes later at 10:42am PT (1:42pm ET) they responded with: “@johnnyjet 1: On flights within or departing the U.S. mainland, plants are generally allowed through the security checkpoint. The airlines regulate the size and number of items each traveler is allowed to bring on the plane.”

Pretty impressive, right? If you’re not on X, formerly Twitter, don’t fret because you can also ask questions by contacting TSA via FB Messenger, Apple Messages and Text “Travel” to AskTSA (275-872). The latter is relatively new and I thought it might have been just for the holidays since that’s when they first launched it. But it’s still around and a great way to get an answer to your TSA-related questions quickly.

On November 17, TSA shared yet another way to get in touch and get answers:

So if you ever have a question about airport security and don’t have a little brother who’s a travel expert, then just contact the TSA directly. Not only will it probably be quicker but the information will be straight from the horse’s mouth. Therefore, if one of their officers isn’t up to speed on the rule, you can calmly and politely ask to speak to a supervisor and show them your correspondence with their head office.

And if it’s in the middle of the night and you can’t wait until 8am, then try finding the answer on the TSA’s free app or website.

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