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TSA screens nearly 2 million passengers each day at nearly 440 airports nationwide. During major holidays, including the Memorial Day travel period, TSA sees a spike in the number of passengers screened at airport checkpoints across the country. According to the AAA, airports and airlines anticipate 2.6 million air travelers nationwide during this holiday period, a 2.5 percent increase from 2014.
Passenger preparedness can have a significant impact on wait times at security checkpoints nationwide.
In order to help travelers prepare and plan ahead for the busy summer travel season, we’ve put together some travel tips that will help you glide through security.
TSA Pre✓® is an expedited screening program that allows travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 complaint liquids/gels bag in a carry-on, in select screening lanes. TSA has also opened more than 330 application centers nationwide, allowing more U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents the opportunity to apply for TSA Pre✓®. Pre-enroll online today.
TSA Pre✓® for U.S. Armed Forces: TSA offers TSA Pre✓® expedited screening to all members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Cadets and midshipmen of the U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy and Air Force Academy are also eligible to receive TSA Pre✓® screening benefits. Accompanying family members ages 12 and under can be processed through expedited screening as well. To participate, enter the DoD ID number in the known traveler number field while making flight reservations. Learn about the requirements and additional screening information. If you’re traveling this summer as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, read this post for tips to ease your travel.
Know before you go: TSA’s summer travel page provides useful information to help ease travel through the airport security checkpoints this season.
Prepare for security: Have an acceptable ID and boarding pass out and remove large electronics including laptops and the 3-1-1 compliant liquids bag, from carry-on baggage.
TSA Recognized Locks: Read about TSA recognized locks when locking your checked bags.
Liquids, Gels & Aerosols: If you’re checking a bag, make things simple by packing liquids in your checked baggage. 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. If you only travel with a carry-on, read about the 3-1-1 liquids rule: 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.
- Powdered Toothpaste: This is fine in both checked and carry-on bags and does not apply to the 3-1-1 rules.
- 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.
- 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: Here is a list of foods that should be placed in your checked bags or shipped: creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, dressings), jams, jellies, maple syrup, oils and vinegars, sauces and soups.
Check for prohibited items: Use the “Can I bring my…” tool to check what items are allowed/ not allowed in carry–on and checked luggage. Smartphone users can easily download the “My TSA” app to quickly find helpful information about TSA policies and procedures.
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 read more tips on traveling with children.
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 about how you may travel without an ID.
Camping, Backpacking, 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.
Lose Something? Contact the TSA lost & found at your airport here.
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 about traveling with your pet.
Shaving Razors: What kinds of razors can you pack in your carry-on? Read which razors can travel.
Dry Ice: Did you know that you can take dry ice in your carry-on or in checked baggage? Read here to find out how to use dry ice to keep your favorite vittles preserved while traveling.
Scuba Diving: Traveling with diving gear this summer? Read this post from our resident diving expert for tips and travel information.
Jewelry: Should you remove jewelry or keep it on to go through security? In most cases 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.
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.
Insect Repellents – They are permitted in your carry-on bags and checked baggage. The liquid limits apply when carrying these in your carry-on bags.
TSA Cares: Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and medical conditions may call the TSA Cares helpline toll free at 1-855-787-2227 with any questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint 72 hours prior to traveling. Injured service members and veterans including individuals associated with a wounded warrior program may contact TSA Cares to help facilitate the screening process.
Contact us at the TSA Contact Center with questions about procedures, upcoming travel and to provide feedback. The hours are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 11 p.m., Eastern Time; weekends and federal holidays, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Eastern Time.
Have a great summer!!!
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TSA Blog Team
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