Streamlining Airport Security
What do frequent flyers, families on vacation and once-a-decade travelers have in common? They all have to go through airport security. No matter the reason for your flight, the process exists to maintain safety, and being prepared will help streamline your trip and eliminate an unexpected hang-up with the Transportation Security Administration. In the spirit of always making travel easier for you, here are some ways to speed up your trip through airport security.
Sign up for TSA PreCheck
TSA PreCheck is the easiest and most effective way to speed up your airport routine. Your membership lasts for five years, and allows you to keep your shoes, belts, and light jackets on, as well as some other time-saving exceptions. You’ll be required to show up for an in-person background check at one of 380 enrollment centers nationwide. For more information on TSA PreCheck, click here.
Know the rules ahead of time.
Are lighters allowed in both checked and carry-on bags? Does peanut butter count as a liquid? Are knitting needles OK to pack in a carry-on? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, that could mean an extra inspection of your bag, confiscated items and wasted time. If there’s anything you’re unsure of, check TSA’s rules before you pack! By the way, lighters are allowed in carry-ons only, peanut butter does count as a liquid and you’re free to knit away on that flight.
Build in time for special procedures.
The TSA has taken steps to ensure that everyone can be properly and safely screened, but this can add a little time to your screening. If you have medication with you, are traveling with young children, or have a condition that may require additional inspection, add 10-15 minutes to your plan to make sure it won’t delay you getting to the gate. More information on special procedures can be found here.
Traveling with pets? Don’t forget the leash!
If your four-legged friend is joining you on your trip, the carrier will need to receive separate screening. A leash will be required to maintain control of your pet while this happens, which you’ll need to remove when they go through screening. Be sure to also contact your airline before you head to the airport for their rules on flying with animals.
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for information on security checkpoints, TSA.gov is your site.