Expect higher passenger volume for Thanksgiving out of Bradley International Airport

Local Press Release
Monday, November 21, 2022

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Bradley International Airport (BDL) will see travel volume increase this week and the TSA team at BDL has been proactively preparing for the increase.  

Holiday travelers should expect Tuesday, Wednesday and the Sunday after Thanksgiving to be the busiest days during this Thanksgiving travel period.

This year Transportation Security Officers (TSO’s) at BDL security checkpoints expect to screen close to 10,000 on the busiest days of this holiday travel period. BDL TSO’s are currently screening 8,500 people on average this month. In 2021 TSA screened 9,600 people daily during the ten-day Thanksgiving travel period.

“TSA along with the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) recommend travelers arrive at the terminal at least 90 minutes prior to their scheduled flight,” said William Csontos, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Connecticut. “We also ask travelers to come prepared to the airport for security screening.” The TSA web site has a lot of helpful information on preparing for a flight.

When travelers approach the travel document checking podium, they will be asked to provide the officer with their ID and in some cases their boarding pass, electronic or paper.

To help speed up the security screening process, TSA recommends travelers place items from their pockets such as wallets, keys, lip balm, tissues and cell phones into their carry-on bags to be screened instead of putting items from their pockets directly into bins. This also reduces the chance that travelers will leave something behind in a bin.

TSA is still allowing travelers to bring one liquid hand sanitizer container up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags until further notice. Passengers can expect that these containers larger than the standard allowance of 3.4 ounces of liquids permitted through a checkpoint will need to be screened separately, which will add some time to their checkpoint experience. Travelers also are permitted to bring anti-bacterial wipes in carry-on or checked luggage.

 “Our TSA officers are professionals and are very good at their jobs, so when you get to the checkpoint, listen to the guidance that they are offering. Our TSO’s are there to make sure you have a smooth checkpoint experience,” Csontos said.

Travelers whose items trigger an alarm at the checkpoint and have their carry-on bags flagged for a search typically state that they did not realize that they had the item with them. “Prohibited items, especially firearms, can slow down the security screening process for everyone in that lane,” Csontos said. He added, to help reduce the likelihood that a carry-on bag will require a search, travelers should start with an empty bag before they begin to pack.

If travelers are bringing food, they should keep in mind that if you can spread it, smear it, spray it, pump it or pour it, they should pack those items in their checked bag.

Individuals with disabilities, medical conditions and other special circumstances can contact the TSA Cares Helpline for additional assistance during the security screening process and to find out what to expect at the checkpoint. Individuals may request assistance through the TSA screening checkpoint by clicking here: https://www.tsa.gov/contact-center/form/cares or by calling (855) 787-2227 (Federal Relay: 711) 72 hours prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. The TSA Cares phone lines are staffed weekdays from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET and on weekends/holidays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. TSA staff can explain the screening process for travelers requiring special accommodations or concerned about the security screening process.

Individuals who are planning to travel this holiday season should consider enrolling in TSA PreCheck®. The popular expedited screening program allows travelers to leave on their shoes, jackets, belts and enables them to keep their electronics and 3-1-1 bags in their carry-on bags.

Unsure if an item should be packed in a carry-on bag, checked bag, either or neither? Download the free myTSA app, which has a handy “What can I bring?” feature that allows you to type in the item to find out if it can fly. Or ask us on Twitter or Facebook Messenger at @AskTSA.