SPOKANE, Wash. - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Spokane International Airport (GEG) showcased an expanded security checkpoint for use by travelers departing on flights from the A/B concourse. The airport is completing construction on the additional screening lane.
The number of departing passengers and crew screened by TSA at GEG has steadily increased over the past few years. Since 2015, TSA has seen 25% growth in the number of people screened through the security checkpoint.
Factors that have contributed to the growth at GEG include the addition of Frontier Airlines offering service from GEG, five new nonstop destinations, and Alaska Airlines scheduling larger aircraft on its service to Seattle. Overall, TSA at GEG expects to screen more than 550,000 people through the security checkpoint during the summer months.
On an average day, TSA at GEG screens about 6,000 people a day. During the summer months, that number can increase by more than 13% to about 6,800 a day.
To help passengers plan for their travels, TSA advises that the busiest days of the week are Thursdays and Fridays followed by Sundays and Mondays. The busiest times at the security checkpoints are 4 a.m. through 6 a.m., 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.
Nationwide, TSA expects to see a four percent increase in the number of passengers screened through its security checkpoints this summer. In order to handle the increased passenger volume on peak travel days, TSA locally and nationwide will be fully staffed, offering additional hours and overtime to TSA officers.
Passengers play an important role in the security process. By being prepared, they can simplify their travel experience and have a significant impact on security checkpoint operations. Here are some helpful TSA tools and travel tips:
- Unpack your bag before you pack it. By unpacking your bag fully at home, you will avoid bringing items to the airport that are not allowed past the security checkpoint. Common prohibited items passengers bring include anything with a blade and liquids and gels over 100 ml (3.4 ounces).
- Don’t overstuff your bag. Cluttered bags can take more time to screen since TSA officers need to get a clear view of the contents of the bag during the X-ray process. Avoid this delay and consider checking your bag when feasible. One way to reduce clutter in your carry-on is to wrap charging cords and cables.
- Remove electronics larger than a cell phone from carry-on bag. New carry-on baggage screening procedures are in place in general screening lanes at all airports across the country including GEG. The procedures require travelers to place all electronic devices larger than a cell phone – including tablets, e-readers and cameras - in bins for X-ray screening when going through the security checkpoint. The electronics should be placed in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for several years.
- Remove 3-1-1 bag from carry-on. Travelers should remove their one-quart bag containing liquids, gels and aerosols in quantities of less than 100 ml (3.4 ounces) from their carry-on bag. Place the bag in a bin by itself for X-ray screening. Removing electronics and liquids from the carry-on allows TSA officers to obtain a clearer view of them on the X-ray screen.
- Tweet or Message “AskTSA.” Issues with receiving TSA Pre✓®? Unsure if an item is allowed through security in a carry-on bag? Get real-time assistance by tweeting your questions and comments to @AskTSA or via Facebook Messenger, daily from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT.
- Enroll in TSA Pre✓®. This Trusted Traveler program allows travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt. At some airports, travelers can keep their laptop in its case and keep 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels in a carry-on bag. TSA operates dedicated TSA Pre✓® lanes at more than 200 airports. There are two locations where Spokane-area residents can enroll. One is in the Spokane Valley at 9116 E. Sprague Avenue. It is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. A second center is at Spokane International Airport in the corridor connecting terminals B and C next to the airport police and badging office. It is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Fridays, it is open from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. More information on TSA Pre✓® is available online.
- Call TSA Cares. Travelers or families of travelers with disabilities and/or medical conditions may call the TSA Cares helpline toll free at 855-787-2227 with any questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint as well as to arrange for assistance at the checkpoint. It is recommended to call at least 72 hours prior to traveling.
In addition to the travel tips above, TSA and airport officials encourage travelers to arrive at least 90 minutes prior to when their flight boards to find parking and transit to the terminal, check any baggage, and proceed through the TSA checkpoint. Additionally, most flights board 30-45 minutes ahead of their scheduled departure.
Finally, drivers waiting to pick up passengers arriving at GEG can take advantage of the airport’s Cell Phone Lot. Located adjacent to the inbound Airport Drive, just past Flint Road, the cell phone lot is free to use and restrooms are available. When passengers are ready to be picked up, drivers are only a few minutes away from the terminal. Flight information is available on the airport’s website.