Hajj Traveler Awareness: Know Before You Go

Monday, October 31, 2011

TSA understands that the Hajj is a significant event for Muslims and is one of the five pillars of Islam. Many observant Muslims perform Hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca and Madinah in Saudi Arabia. Each year, more than a million pilgrims take part in the Hajj, including over ten thousand Americans. The dates for Hajj this year are November 4 to November 9, 2011. The travel period this year will commence a few weeks before Hajj and end several weeks after its conclusion. 

Quick Tips to Prepare for Travel During Hajj

  • Pilgrims traveling in traditional or religious clothing may be considered to be wearing loose fitting or bulky clothing and may be subject to additional screening at the TSA security checkpoints which may include a pat-down.
  • Pilgrims may travel through a security checkpoint which has Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT). Being screened through this technology is voluntary and travelers may choose to opt out.
  • Pilgrims returning from the Hajj who wish to bring back holy water should pack it in their checked baggage if the container is larger than three point four (3.4) ounces (100 ml).
  • Pilgrims traveling for the Hajj may wish to consult the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s website at www.cbp.gov for additional information on port of entry guidelines or restrictions.

Addressing Travel Issues or Concerns

  • Travelers who believe they have experienced rude or unprofessional conduct at a security checkpoint or have questions about the security screening process are encouraged to request a supervisor at the checkpoint to discuss the matter or to submit a concern to TSA’s Contact Center at: TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov.
  • Travelers who believe they have experienced discriminatory conduct may file a concern with TSA’s Office of Civil Rights and Liberties.