Tuesday, May 21, 2013

TSA Travel Tips Tuesday - Summer 2013 Travel Tips



Summer Travel Banner
Summer is almost here! People all over the country are getting their pools and patio furniture ready for the warmer days to come. Many are preparing for travel too! Whether you’re going on a family vacation or a business trip, there is sure to be some helpful information for you in this post. Have a great summer!

TSA Pre✓™  logo.
TSA Pre™ and other Risk Based Expedited Screening: TSA has implemented TSAPre✓™, an expedited prescreening initiative for known travelers, active duty service members and airline crewmembers at select airports, and modified procedures for screening passengers 12 and under and 75 and older to reduce, although not eliminate, the need for a pat-down. TSA Pre™ is currently available in 40 airports. As of today, 10,000,000 passengers have been screened through TSA Pre™ lanes!

Smart phone displaying My TSA App.
The MyTSA App: Want TSA information anywhere, anytime?  Use the MyTSA app. Among the great features, there’s a “Can I Bring My…” tool. Want to know if you can pack a certain item? This is the tool for you. Type in the name of the item you’re curious about and it tells you if the item is permitted or not, along with packing tips. This isn’t a Magic 8 Ball, so please don’t expect it to prophetically answer yes and no questions. A wait time feature is also available. It relies on crowd sourcing, which means the more people who use it, the better. 

TSA Cares Helpline: Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and medical conditions may call the TSA Cares helpline toll free 855-787-2227, 72 hours prior to traveling with any questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. A TSA Cares helpline representative is available during all TSA Contact Center hours.
TSA Call Center Icon


TSA Contact Center: The Contact Center hours are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 11 p.m., Eastern time; weekends and federal holidays, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Eastern time. The TCC can be reached at 866-289-9673. Passengers can also reach out to the TSA Contact Center (TCC) with questions about TSA procedures, upcoming travel or to provide feedback or voice concerns.

Passenger Support Specialists: PSS’s are Transportation Security Officers, Lead TSOs and Supervisors who have volunteered to take on the responsibility of assisting passengers who may need a little help at the checkpoint. If you need assistance, or you’re concerned about your screening, you can request a PSS and they’ll help you with whatever issue it is you might be having. Read this post for more information.


Diamond Ring
Jewelry: So what’s the scoop? Should you remove jewelry or keep it on to go through security? The answer, in most cases is that you can keep it on, but there are a few different choices that you can make based on what kind of jewelry it is. Read this post for more information. 

How to Avoid Additional Screening:  The most important tip to help you avoid a pat-down is to take everything out of your pockets before screening and put items in your carry-on bag. Don't wear clothes with a high metal content, and put heavy jewelry on after you go through security.  If you have a hidden medical device (insulin pump, ostomy bag, brace, etc.), please let the officer know. 

Diving gear in suitcase.

Scuba Diving: Traveling with diving gear this summer? Read this post from our resident diving expert for tips and travel information.

Sporting Goods: Golf clubs, baseball bats (including the mini slugger bats), cricket bats, bows and arrows, hockey sticks, scuba knives, spear guns, etc. are all prohibited from being carried onto the plane. However, you can place them in your checked baggage.

Military Travel: If you’re traveling this summer as a member of the U.S. Armed forces, be sure to read the travel tips at this post.

Destination Weddings: Getting married soon? We’ve been asked about it a lot lately on our My TSA app, so we wrote a post on it. Be sure to check it out for some great tips.

Family camping.
Camping, Hunting, or Fishing: If you’re heading to the great outdoors, be sure to check out this post for tips on traveling with camping and fishing gear.

Traveling With a Pet: TSA does not prohibit travel with pets. However, it is very important that you contact your airline first so they can let you know about any requirements, fees, or restrictions they might have. Read here for more information.

Loaded Gun
Double Check Your Bag for Guns: Seriously!!! It sounds silly, but if you read our Week in Review posts, you’ll see that our officers find guns every day at checkpoints in the U.S.  A good percentage of those are loaded. Save yourself the hassle of a bag check, a police interview and a potential arrest by making sure you leave your gun at home. 
 
Traveling With Children: Did you know that children 12 and under can keep their shoes on? If you’re going on a family trip this summer, be sure to click here for more tips and information on traveling with the little crumb-snatchers.

Man shaving face.
Shaving Razors: You can get more info from our blog post on this subject where the pictures will answer all of your questions.

Forgotten or Lost IDs: If you have lost or forgotten your ID, you will still be permitted to fly as long as you help us verify you are who you say you are by answering a few questions. Read this post for more information.

Liquids in baggie.
Liquids, Gels & Aerosols: If you’re checking a bag, make things simple by packing liquids in your checked luggage. That way, you don’t have to worry about the liquids rules.  (If you’re concerned about them leaking, do what I do and put them in a zip-top bag.)  But I know that doesn’t work for everyone if you’re only bringing a carry-on bag. If you have to take liquids in your carry-on, please continue reading… You can read here for more details, but here is the gist: each passenger is allowed to take as many 3.4 ounce or less sized containers that will fit in one sealed clear quart-sized zip-top bag – and one bag per person.   Make sure you take the zip-top bag out of your carry-on prior to sending it through the X-ray.

Here is some information on frequently asked liquid, aerosol and gel items:

  • Deodorant: Stick deodorant is not limited to 3.4 oz or less, but gel or spray deodorant is.
  • Suntan & Sun Block Lotion: Lotions – both pump and aerosol - fall under the procedures that I mentioned above. Sun block sticks do not fall under this rule.
  • Makeup: Any liquid makeup cosmetics such as eyeliner, nail polish, liquid foundation, etc. should be placed in the baggie. That goes for perfume as well. Powder makeup is fine.
  • Beverages: Wine, liquor, beer, and all of your favorite beverages are permitted in your checked baggage. You can also bring beverages packaged in 3.4 oz or less bottles in your carry-on bags in the baggie.
  • Gel Inserts for shoes are now permitted.
  • Foods: Cakes, pies, bread, donuts, turkeys, etc. are all permitted. Here is a list of items that should be placed in your checked bags or shipped: cranberry sauce, creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, etc.), gift baskets with liquid or gel food items (salsa, jams and salad dressings), gravy, jams, jellies, maple syrup, oils and vinegars, sauces, soups, wine, liquor and beer.

Come back next Tuesday for more TSA travel tips! 


If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.