TSA provides tips to prepare air travelers before busy holiday season

In January, Bozeman residents will have opportunity to enroll locally in TSA Pre✓®
Local Press Release
Tuesday, December 8, 2015

BOZEMAN, Mont. – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today provided tips for travelers departing Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) ahead of what is expected to be a very busy holiday travel season nationwide.

On average, TSA screens nearly 2 million passengers daily nationwide. During peak travel periods, that number can increase by up to 40 percent. At BZN, the number of passengers can double – from an average of 1,500 passengers per day to 3,000 – during peak holiday travel times. TSA security checkpoints will be fully staffed during the holiday travel period. TSA operations are committed to efficient processing of passengers, while maintaining a primary focus on security screening effectiveness.

While TSA concentrates on aviation security, passengers can assist by coming prepared to the airport. Unprepared passengers have a significant impact on wait times at security checkpoints nationwide. 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.

BZN operates a dedicated TSA Pre✓® lane during peak travel periods. TSA Pre✓® is a program that allows passengers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt. At some airports, travelers can also keep their laptop in its case and keep 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels in a carry-on bag. Currently, only travelers who are enrolled in a Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler program are eligible for TSA Pre✓® on a consistent basis.

TSA Pre✓® enrollment will be offered at BZN from Monday, January 18 to Friday, January 22, 2016.  The office will be open from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is located on the second floor of the airport in the public area, near the arriving passenger exit lane.

To begin the process of enrolling in TSA Pre✓®, go online to https://universalenroll.dhs.gov. Click on the words “TSA Pre✓®” in the middle of the page. Follow the prompts to learn what documentation is required and to set up an appointment at the BZN on-airport enrollment center.

Applicants are required to make an in-person visit to an enrollment center to verify citizenship/immigration status, as well as to provide fingerprints. While appointments are recommended, walk-ins are also accepted.

Once vetted and approved, passengers will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN), making them eligible for TSA Pre✓® on a consistent basis. There is a non-refundable application processing fee of $85 and the KTN is good for five years.

Travelers are encouraged to save their KTN in their frequent flyer profiles. Additionally, those who purchase tickets via a third-party website or travel agency should manually enter their KTN each time they make an airline reservation.

If a passenger is eligible for TSA Pre✓®, a code is embedded in the barcode of the boarding pass. A TSA officer will scan the barcode at the checkpoint and the passenger will be referred for expedited screening. If no dedicated TSA Pre✓® lane is available, the passenger is still eligible to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt during the security screening process. 

A passenger must be traveling on a participating airline to receive the expedited screening benefits of TSA Pre✓®. Three airlines that serve BZN currently participate in TSA Pre✓® including Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. 

To learn more about TSA Pre✓®, visit tsa.gov/tsa-precheck. For more information on other DHS trusted traveler programs that include TSA Pre✓® eligibility, visit dhs.gov/tt.

Public awareness is key to supporting TSA’s security efforts, so “If You See Something, Say Something™.” For further information about TSA procedures, or to provide feedback or voice concerns, please call the TSA Contact Center at 1-866-289-9673 or send a message via Twitter to @AskTSA.