TSA offers 10 Travel Tips for Smooth Screening
Passengers Continue to Bring Literally Tons of Prohibited Items to Checkpoints
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) continues to be ready for the increase in travel volume close to or exceeding pre-pandemic levels at airports across the country. And those passengers are bringing literally tons of prohibited items to the checkpoints.
“We are ensuring the security of travelers with a robust workforce and new technologies within the checkpoint that enhance security, reduce physical contact and improve the traveling experience,” said TSA Spokesperson Sari Koshetz. “We ask travelers to bring their patience during these busy times, but leave their prohibited items at home!”
An item appearing more often in passengers’ bags are lighters which are cast as a metal gun and if brandished inside the aircraft cabin could appear to be one of the small guns on the market which can discharge ammunition. The replica guns, therefore, require a response which includes pulling the bag to remove the lighters which are not permitted on the plane.
“Firearms brought to the checkpoints continue to be a problem across the country,” said Koshetz, “with passengers facing sizable fines from the TSA and possibly heading to jail instead of their desired destination”.
Hundreds of pounds of prohibited items every month
Other prohibited items brought to checkpoints add up to hundreds of pounds a year at smaller airports to as much as 2,000 pounds or a ton, literally, of prohibited items every month at the largest airports. Knives, martial arts items, large tools are among the most common. And every time one of our officers has to pull that bag aside to remove the items that could be used as a threat against a fellow passenger, that slows down the line for you and everyone behind you. “If you wouldn’t want the person sitting next to you to have a similar knife, hatchet or ax, then you should leave it at home,” added Koshetz.
Follow these tips for the fastest and most efficient TSA checkpoint experience possible during the continuation of the spring break travel period:
TSA Travel Tips for Smooth Screening
Continue to wear a face mask
The mask requirement remains in place and TSA will continue to assess the duration of the requirement in consultation with the CDC.
Follow the 3-1-1 rule
Liquids, gels and aerosols are limited to 3.4 ounces or less in carry-on baggage. There is an exception for hand sanitizer, which has a temporary 12-ounce limit. The general definition for this rule is that if you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it, then the carry-on quantity is limited to 3.4 ounces each placed in one quart-sized bag, with one bag permitted per passenger. Follow the 3-1-1 rule.
Pack food in a clear plastic bag
If you plan to travel with food, it is a best practice to pack your food items in a clear plastic bag and place that clear plastic bag into your carry-on bag. When you get to the security checkpoint, remove and place the clear bag containing your food into the bin to reduce the opportunity for cross-contamination between the food and bins.
Leave prohibited items at home
To reduce the likelihood of physical contact with TSA officers at the checkpoint, be familiar with the TSA prohibited items list for carry-on bags. Travelers can check for prohibited items by using the “What Can I Bring?” page on TSA.gov and by downloading the free MyTSA app, which has a helpful “What Can I Bring?” feature.
Do not bring your firearm to a security checkpoint
Airline passengers can fly with firearms only in checked baggage. All firearms must be properly packed and declared with your airline at check-in. Contact your airline for additional guidance. Firearms at TSA checkpoints represent an unnecessary risk and an expensive mistake. (And the gun lighters are not permitted even in your checked bag as they are flammable.)
Give yourself plenty of time
Travel volumes are expected to be higher than they have been and some passengers may be traveling for the first time in quite a while. Extra time may be needed for parking or returning rental cars, at airline check-in counters, and at the security checkpoint.
Empty your pockets when you get to the checkpoint
– or better yet before – Place items inside your carry-on bag instead of into a bin to reduce touchpoints and so that you do not leave anything behind.
Listen for guidance from TSA officers
They may be providing information on new technologies that help reduce touchpoints and make for a more streamlined and convenient passenger experience.
Contact TSA with your questions
Tweet your questions and comments to @AskTSA or via Facebook Messenger, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. You can also call the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST or 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
Enroll now in TSA PreCheck®
“Travel with Ease” by enrolling in TSA PreCheck and avoid removing shoes, belts, liquids, laptops and light jackets. Most new enrollees receive a Known Traveler Number within five days, and membership lasts for five years.