Enhanced TSA security screening that meets the current threat environment along with significant increases in travel volume are expected to significantly contribute to longer lines at airport security checkpoints.
In order to maintain the highest levels of security TSA must ensure that every person and every piece of baggage that goes aboard a commercial aircraft is properly screened, and that process takes time.
Travelers are reminded to take steps to facilitate the screening process by preparing ahead of time.
- Apply for a Trusted Traveler program, such as TSA Pre✓®, Global Entry, NEXUS, and Sentri. These programs help improve security and reduce wait times.
- Arrive early. The increase in travel volume has a wide-ranging effect. Consider incorporating additional time in your travel plans for traffic, parking, rental car returns and airline check-in. Arrive up to two hours in advance of your flight departure time for domestic travel and three hours for international flights.
- Prepare for security. Have an acceptable ID and boarding pass out and remove large electronics, including laptops and the 3-1-1 compliant liquids bag, from carry-on baggage. Avoid over packing your carry-on bag. Consider checking bags vs. carry-on where feasible. Read the travel checklist.
- Follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces or less and all bottles must fit in a single quart size plastic bag and be placed in a bin for carry-on baggage screening.
- Call TSA Cares. Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and medical conditions may call the TSA Cares helpline toll free at 1-855-787-2227 with any questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint 72 hours prior to traveling.
- Tweet @AskTSA. Unsure if an item is allowed through security? Issues receiving TSA Pre✓® on your boarding pass? Get live assistance by tweeting your questions and comments to @AskTSA, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends/holidays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Check the weather. Inclement weather can cause flight delays. Keep in mind the local weather forecast and check with your airline for the most up-to-date flight information.
Your security is our top priority. Learn more about security-related events and measures in this Transportation Security Timeline.