The Fourth of July holiday traditionally marks the half-way point of the summer travel season. This year, the period is shaping up to be busier than ever. We are expecting 263 million passengers and crew members to pass through our security checkpoints from Memorial Day to Labor Day, an increase of 4% over the same period in 2018.
The Independence Day holiday is projected to be a busy time for flyers. TSA estimates that 12.1 million people will travel through checkpoints from July 3-7, with the peak travel day happening on Sunday. If your Fourth of July plans involve airline travel, we have some tips to prepare you for the getaway:
Know what’s in your bag
Make sure your carry-on and checked bags are packed properly. This means checking every side pocket and knowing what’s in your bag. Place knives, sharp objects, and large containers of liquid in your checked luggage. You may pack any travel-size liquids, solid foods, medications, and electronic devices in your carry-on bag. If you need information on other items, check out our “What Can I Bring?” feature on TSA.gov.
What to expect: For all gels, liquids, pastes and aerosols, be sure to follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule. If you are in a standard screening lane, remove the zip-top bag from your carry-on prior to sending it through the X-ray. TSA officers may also ask that you separate items from carry-on bags such as foods, powders, large electronic devices, and any items that prevent clear images on the X-ray machine.
Leave your fireworks behind
It’s important that you leave your fireworks at home. All fireworks are prohibited from being transported, in both carry-on and checked bags, on commercial aircraft. This includes firecrackers, fountains, bottle rockets, ground spinners, poppers, snaps, roman candles, smoke fireworks, snakes, strobes, and sparklers. TSA is responsible for enforcing this FAA rule by intercepting these items during screening.
What to expect: If any item alarms during screening, TSA officers will conduct additional screening. Items that cannot be resolved will not be allowed through the checkpoint and onto the plane. TSA officers will refer illegal items to local law enforcement, which may result in civil penalties.
Arrive early and be prepared
As we said before, you can expect plenty of company at the airport. Allow yourself time to arrive, park, print your boarding pass, check your baggage, and proceed to the security checkpoint. When you arrive, have your boarding pass and identification ready, and follow any instructions given by the TSA officers.
What to expect: Adult passengers 18 and over must show valid identification at the airport checkpoint in order to travel. TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States.
Remember, we’re here to help!
Need more information to prepare for your flight? Connect with our AskTSA customer care team on Twitter or Facebook. Our team is available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET on weekends and holidays. If you prefer, you can reach our TSA Contact Center by calling (866) 289-9673 or by submitting an online form. Agents are available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET and weekends/holidays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.
Remember, we’re here to keep you safe. If you have any questions or need assistance, just ask one of our officers. And, "If You See Something, Say Something™.” Enjoy your holiday!