Busy summer travel season
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently announced that it expects to screen over 4% or 10 million more passengers than last summer and will likely set new records for the highest number of passengers and crew screened in a single day and single week. During the same period last year, TSA screened 250,918,233 passengers and crew, which included nine of the top 10 busiest weeks in its history during the summer season.
“This summer we’re expecting to screen over 2.7 million travelers on peak days,” said TSA Acting Deputy Administrator Patricia Cogswell. “Our dedicated transportation security officers, inspectors, air marshals, and support personnel are working around the clock to ensure traveler security during this record breaking travel season.”
The TSA experienced its busiest day ever on May 24, the Friday before Memorial Day, screening a total 2,792,525 passengers and crew members. The agency screened more than 1.5 million checked bags on that day as well.
Here are some helpful travel tips to make the checkpoint experience go smoothly:
Unpack your bag before you pack it. Passengers who bring prohibited items to the checkpoint slow the screening process for themselves and everyone behind them. Use the “Can I Bring My…?” feature on tsa.gov to determine if the item can travel in a carry-on, in checked baggage or not at all.
Prepare your liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes to be sure they are packed in compliance with the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Passengers who violate this rule will cause delays for themselves and everyone behind them.
Remove all items from your pockets and secure the items in your carry-on bag to prevent them from being left behind in a bin. Your screening experience will go even faster if you remove everything from your pockets before you get to the checkpoint.
Avoid wearing large metal jewelry or clothing with large metal embellishments to reduce the possibility of alarming the screening machines.
Arrive early to the airport to allow enough time to park, get your boarding pass, check your luggage and go through the security screening process.
When traveling with gifts, place them in a gift bag instead of wrapping them. If a wrapped gift alarms, appears to have been tampered with or poses any other security concerns, it will need to be unwrapped for additional screening.
Food items such as pies and cakes are permitted but may require further inspection. If you are not sure if a food item is considered a liquid or gel, it is best to pack the item in your checked bag or ship it to your destination in advance.
Travelers who have medical conditions or disabilities and want to get a better understanding in advance of how best to prepare for the checkpoint process can call the TSA Cares toll-free helpline at 1-855-787-2227. It is recommended to call 72 hours in advance of the trip.
What else should I know?
REMEMBER: Beginning October 1, 2020, every traveler must present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, or another acceptable form of identification, to fly within the United States. TSA has launched a public awareness campaign about the upcoming identification changes to ensure that every traveler is prepared for the airport security checkpoint process when the REAL ID Act goes into full enforcement.
If you have questions about traveling within the United States or how this development affects you, please contact us. We are here to help. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Tumblr for up-to-date immigration news.
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