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TSA prepares for spring break surge

Congress FAA
Posted at 10:08 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 07:07:36-05

Airports in the United States could see an increase in traffic in the coming weeks as schools and universities take time off for spring break.

Amid the pandemic, air travel has remained at roughly half the levels from before the pandemic, but TSA data is suggesting air travel is starting to pick up. Four of the last five days have had more than 1 million passengers domestically.

The last week has been the busiest week for the nation’s airports since the holidays.

“There is no higher priority than our operational readiness as well as the health and safety of our workforce and the traveling public,” said Darby LaJoye, senior official performing the duties of the TSA administrator. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve installed new credential authentication technology and computed tomography equipment at hundreds of checkpoints that greatly reduces the need for physical contact between our officers and the traveling public.”

The TSA is offering spring break travelers the following 6 tips:

Tip 1: Wear a face mask. The federal requirement supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Emergency Order mandating face masks be worn on all public conveyances and at stations, ports, or similar transportation hubs.

Tip 2: Leave prohibited items at home. To reduce the likelihood of physical contact with TSA officers at the checkpoint, check for prohibited items by using the “What Can I Bring?” [lnks.gd] page on TSA.gov.

Tip 3: Prepare for the security checkpoint. Have a valid ID card [lnks.gd] readily available. Follow the liquids rule of 3.4 ounces or less, with the exception of hand sanitizer, which has a temporary 12-ounce limit in carry-on baggage.

Tip 4: No guns at checkpoints. Airline passengers can fly with firearms only in checked baggage. All firearms must be properly packed and declared [lnks.gd] at check-in. Contact your airline for additional guidance.

Tip 5: Help is always available. Get live assistance by tweeting your questions and comments to @AskTSA [lnks.gd] or via Facebook Messenger [lnks.gd], weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST and weekends/holidays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST. You can also call the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673.

Tip 6: Enroll now in TSA PreCheck®. “Travel with Ease” by enrolling in TSA PreCheck and avoid removing shoes, belts, liquids, food, laptops and light jackets. Most new enrollees receive a known traveler number within five days, and membership lasts for five years.