WASHINGTON - As the busy summer travel season begins, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reminds travelers to be prepared and plan ahead for security. Passenger preparedness for the security process can have a significant impact on wait times at the checkpoint.
Officials from TSA, airports and major airlines anticipate high numbers of passengers between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. TSA is prepared for summer travel and is working with aviation industry partners to ensure the highest levels of security and customer service for travelers. Many resources are available at www.tsa.gov including travel tips, historical airport-by-airport wait times and a detailed list of prohibited items.
"TSA works closely each year with our partners in the air travel industry to effectively manage high summer travel volumes. We are fully staffed and prepared to handle the greater volume of passengers this year," said TSA Administrator Kip Hawley. "Travelers can control the length of their own wait time by being prepared when they reach the security checkpoint."
Through innovative staffing and scheduling models, TSA is able to maintain consistent peak wait times at the busiest airports in the country throughout the summer travel season. However, wait times do vary by airport, checkpoint and time of day.
TSA reminds passengers to:
Follow 3-1-1 for liquids in carry-ons:
Remember the 3–1–1 rule for carrying liquids, gels and aerosols through the checkpoint.
- 3 ounce bottles or less for all liquids, gels and aerosols placed in
- 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag;
- 1 bag per passenger placed separately in a security bin for X-ray screening.
The liquid restriction applies only to carry-on bags. Passengers can pack larger quantities of liquids and gels in checked baggage. The liquid ban was instituted last August following the London liquid explosives plot and adjusted in September to allow travel-sized liquids through the checkpoint. Allowing only one, quart-sized plastic bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring through the checkpoint.
Be prepared for screening. To maximize efficiency at the security checkpoint avoid wearing clothing with metal and stow all metal items in your carry-on luggage.
Removing footwear for X-ray screening is required. Wearing footwear that can be easily removed helps speed the process.
When approaching the security checkpoint, passengers will be asked to present a boarding pass and a government-issued identification. Keep the boarding pass out and available throughout screening.
Be flexible. TSA's layered security approach is designed to be difficult for terrorists to manipulate. This approach includes elements of unpredictability which means that passengers may encounter slightly varied processes from checkpoint to checkpoint.
Prepare before getting to the airport. Travel tips for parents, persons with special needs and the general public, lists of prohibited items and much more can be found on the TSA Web site at www.tsa.gov. Knowing what to expect makes the process easier.
Handle prohibited items properly. Remember that firearms, ammunition and knives are prohibited at the passenger checkpoint. Self-defense sprays and other potential weapons also are prohibited. Go to the TSA Web site at www.tsa.gov for a complete list of prohibited items.
All fireworks are explosive materials and are not permitted in checked or carry-on baggage.
Firearms and ammunition must be properly packed in checked baggage. Firearms must be unloaded, placed in a locked, hard-sided container and properly declared to your airline.
For more information, visit the TSA Web site at www.tsa.gov.