TWIN FALLS, Idaho - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) nationally expects to screen a record number of people during the 2018 Thanksgiving season. TSA projects it will screen 25 million travelers between Friday, November 16 and Monday, November 26, making it one of TSA’s busiest Thanksgivings on record. This represents a 5 percent increase compared to this same period last year.
At Magic Valley Regional Airport (TWF), the busiest days for TSA are Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. On a daily basis, TSA at TWF screens three departing flights. TWF is in a unique situation as it also screens any weather impacted, diverted departures from Friedman Memorial Airport in Sun Valley. The season for diverted departures from SUN begins in December and lasts until the end of March.
Last year, TSA noticed a marked change in Thanksgiving travel patterns and that pattern is expected to continue this year. Instead of waiting for the day before Thanksgiving to travel, people are beginning their travels on the Friday before Thanksgiving. Many passengers have planned their return travel on the Sunday or Monday after Thanksgiving. In fact, nationally, the Sunday after Thanksgiving is projected to break into TSA’s top 10 busiest days ever.
While TSA concentrates on aviation security, passengers can assist by coming to the airport prepared. Here are some helpful travel tips to make the security checkpoint experience at TWF go smoothly during the holidays – and throughout the year:
Arrive at TWF 90 minutes prior to your flight departure to ensure adequate time to be screened through the security checkpoint. At peak travel times, the number of departing passengers can exceed capacity. By arriving early, you will arrive at your gate with time to spare.
Organize your carry-on bag so electronics larger than a cell phone can be quickly and easily accessed when at the security checkpoint. All electronic devices larger than a cell phone should be placed in bins for x-ray screening with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for several years.
Remove travel-size liquids, gels and aerosols (3.4 ounces or less) from carry-on luggage. Ensure they can be quickly and easily accessed. Any quantities larger than 3.4 ounces should be placed in checked baggage.
If your boarding pass has the words TSA Pre✓® or TSA PRE printed on it, you are eligible for expedited screening at TWF. You will be able to leave on your shoes, light outer jacket and belt during the security screening process.
Question about what you can bring through the security checkpoint? Tweet or Message AskTSA weekdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. MST and weekends and holidays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST.
Dress for security screening. Simplify your experience by avoiding bulky jewelry, scarves, hair accessories and large belts since these types of items are likely to require additional screening. Remember to remove all items from your pockets and secure them in your carry-on bag.
As a reminder, public awareness is a critical element of our security efforts. Travelers are encouraged to report suspicious activities, and remember If You See Something, Say Something™.