Today’s travel tip is to consider downloading the MyTSA App. Why? Why not? It is extremely helpful and it is free.
So why did TSA create an app? Here are several factors that convinced us that it would be a good idea:
Many travelers rely on mobile technology when they travel. Questions regularly pop up at the last minute when you are away from your laptop or home computer.
Questions such as:
- What ID can I use?
- I lost my ID, can I still fly?
- Are there delays at the airport?
- How long is the line at security?
- What can I pack for my child?
TSA created the MyTSA app with all of these questions in mind. With the app, you have the following tools all within the reach of your smartphone:
- Crowd-sourced wait times
- Travel tips
- Information on prohibited items and packing tips
- Airport delays and weather
- Contact Center information
With ongoing feedback, our app keeps improving. Here are our latest updates:
- The new home screen now includes buttons for the two most popular functions, “Can I Bring my __________” and wait times so you don’t have to navigate to get to them.
- Streamlined navigation with one icon in the top left of the screen. Just tap to see a menu of items on the app.
- For TSA Pre✓™ users – airports with TSA Pre✓™ are identified with the TSA Pre✓™ icon. If you tap the icon, a pop-up box will note what checkpoint to go to for expedited screening and what airlines are operational with TSA Pre✓™ at that airport.
The app’s “Can I Bring my _________? ” feature enables you to type in a certain item to see if it’s permitted by TSA. It has more than 3,500 items in the database, many submitted by passengers. When using this feature on the app, after you type the first three letters of the word, you’ll see a pop-up menu of potential matches. Look for the item you want and click on it, or type the whole word and you’ll get an answer. If you don’t get any options that pop up or get the “Item Not Found” response, it could be because you misspelled the word in the first three letters, or used unnecessary adjectives or qualifiers with the item.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of the “Can I Bring.” tool:
- If you want to know if you can bring your knitting needles, you do not need to type “my knitting needles,” or include the brand name of the knitting needles, or how many knitting needles you are packing. Just type “knitting needles.” If you’re packing toys, just type in “light saber” – no need for “my son’s light saber.” (This happens quite a bit, and it will result in getting the “Item Not Found” response instead of the answer that light sabers are allowed.)
- For liquids, you don’t have to type in the size of the container, such as “12 ounce bottle of shampoo.” Just type “shampoo” and the answer will explain the rule for packing liquids, aerosols and gels tell you what you can bring through the checkpoint and what has to be packed in a checked bag.
Get the My TSA mobile app, available for iPhone on iTunes, Android on Google Play, and for other smartphones at www.tsa.gov/mobile
Visit the TSA website to get the most up to date information before you travel: www.tsa.gov The TSA Blog: http://blog.tsa.gov