June 21 was the summer solstice which marks the midpoint of summer. Now that we are heading towards fall, it’s important to remember that the summer travel season is still peaking! Our second busiest day in TSA history was on June 21 where we screened 2.73 million travelers. To make it a summer to remember, follow these travel tips to breeze through the checkpoint.
Remember to show up to the airport two hours before your flight. With the summer heat, you can bring empty water bottles through security to refill and stay hydrated before you board the airplane. Sun screen and bug spray are allowed in your liquids bag if they are under 3.4oz or 100ml. If larger, place them in your checked bags.
Between June 17 and 23, TSA screened 18.2 million passengers and found 110 firearms in carry-on bags. Of the 110 firearms discovered, 89 were loaded and 33 had a round chambered.
Don’t pack your firearm in your carry-on bag. Bringing a firearm to the security checkpoint may lead to a civil penalty of up to $13,333 or an arrest. And if you’re a TSA Pre✓® member, you could lose your status. Check out our transporting firearms and ammunition page to learn how to pack it properly.
Real, fake, replica, inert, or toy explosive devices are not allowed – ever. I’m not just blowing smoke, but smoke grenades aren’t allowed either! When our officers discover a suspected explosive device they call an explosives specialist, which takes time and can lead to missed flights and long delays. One has to wonder; why do people travel with these items!?
Pictured above, from the left:
- A flashbang discovered by TSA officers at Memphis International Airport on June 19.
- Officers located an expended ignitor at Albert J. Ellis Airport in North Carolina on June 23.
- A smoke grenade was found in a bag at Norfolk International Airport in Virginia on June 21.
This passenger has more than just pains from poor posture; the traveler is now facing a civil penalty for attempting to conceal a knife in the sole of their shoe. Shockingly, the passenger stated that he forgot the knife was in the shoe. This passenger would have saved a lot of money – and would still have that nifty knife – if he had just put it in his checked bag. The knife was discovered during X-ray screening at Sioux Falls Regional Airport in South Dakota on June 17.
Our mission at TSA is to do everything in our power to make sure you get to your destination safely by keeping dangerous items off planes. The most common explanation we hear from travelers for prohibited items is “I forgot it was in my bag.” Don’t be that person. Save yourself some money and embarrassment and thoroughly check your bags for prohibited items before heading to the airport.
So come prepared! For a list of prohibited items, be sure to use the What Can I Bring? tool. If you have questions about the security process, reach out to AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger. Our AskTSA team will happily answer even the most outlandish travel-related questions.
Want to know how many firearms we found last year? Check out our 2018 blog post.
Also, don’t forget to check out our top 10 most unusual finds video for 2018.