It’s going to be a busy summer travel season and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is preparing for the volume. This year is projected to match and potentially exceed the passenger volumes of 2019, making it the first time since the start of the pandemic.
Since the pandemic, there have been enhanced screening operations and changes to checkpoints to ensure that COVID-19 numbers stay low.
TSA Administrator David Pekoske says in a statement, “Daily passenger volumes at TSA checkpoints show that people are traveling again, and TSA is ready for their return. Our airport security checkpoints include 47,500 highly-trained security professionals and new technologies that enhance security and reduce physical contact.”
Pekoske goes on to say, “We continue to recruit, retain, train, and equip a highly-skilled workforce and we work continuously with our airport and airline partners to anticipate and prepare for higher traffic patterns.”
The summer travel season begins at the end of May until Labor Day weekend, covering three months and holidays including Juneteenth, the newest federal holiday in the U.S.
There are two new technologies at airport screenings: Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) and Computed Tomography (CT) scanners. These new technologies will improve identity verification and scanning for carry-on luggage. Both CAT and CT technologies will reduce physical contact within checkpoints.
If you’re traveling this summer, here are five tips to get through TSA checkpoints quickly and with ease:
Face masks are optional (but recommended)
Although it’s optional to wear face masks in public settings, the CDC recommends passengers aged two and older wear masks to avoid COVID exposure.
Make sure to check out the “What Can I Bring?” page on the TSA website before packing. Passengers who prepare for TSA checkpoints get through more quickly and are less likely to bring prohibited items through the checkpoint.
Arrive on time
Airports tend to have traffic and construction delays, so it’s important to arrive with lots of time to check-in, check bags, go through security and make it to your departure date. When going through TSA, remember to have your ID out and avoid having liquids over 3.4 ounces.
Contact TSA if you have any questions
You can also call the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673.
Enroll in TSA PreCheck
TSA PreCheck is the ultimate travel hack for making it through security in a flash. With PreCheck, you won’t have to remove shoes, belts, liquids, foods, laptops, and/or light jackets at the checkpoint.
Membership lasts for five years and new members will receive their known traveler number within five days of enrolling.
According to the TSA, 94% of TSA PreCheck passengers waited less than five minutes at the checkpoint in April.