TSA offers summer travel tips as flights tick up to pre-pandemic levels
The amount of people seeking flights this summer is heading toward pre-pandemic levels – and the Transportation Security Administration has some tips to make those plan as smooth as possible.
Official who spoke at a news conference at John F. Kennedy International Airport said the current air travel levels are about 85-90% what they were in 2019.
They expect to be at 100% by the middle of the summer.
Here are the tips from the TSA:
- Face masks are optional but recommended. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends face masks for passengers aged 2 and older in indoor areas of public transportation and transportation hubs as an effective precaution for those who seek to avoid exposure to COVID in higher risk public spaces.
- Pack smart; start with empty bags. Airline passengers who pack for travel with empty bags are less likely to bring prohibited items through a TSA checkpoint. Technology and modifications help reduce the need for physical contact with TSA officers, but those who take time to come prepared for the TSA checkpoint are far more likely to avoid delay and physical contact.
- Know before you go. Airports, like highways, have high traffic surges and construction delays. Plan to arrive at the airport in plenty of time to check in, check bags and complete security screening in time to avoid stressful sprints to the departure gate. At the TSA checkpoint, have a valid ID card readily available and 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.
- Contact TSA for help if there are questions or concerns. Those who are preparing to travel and may have special circumstances, considerations or general questions about airport screening can get live assistance by tweeting questions and comments to @AskTSA or via Facebook Messenger, daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT. You can also call the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673.
- TSA also offers TSA Cares, a helpline for travelers with disabilities, medical conditions and other special circumstances. You may submit a request for assistance by calling TSA Cares at 855-787-2227, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and weekends/holidays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Passengers may also use the TSA Cares form available on the TSA website which can be found at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/passenger-support.
- Enroll in TSA PreCheck to “travel with ease.” By enrolling in TSA PreCheck, airline passengers can avoid removing shoes, belts, liquids, food, laptops and light jackets at the TSA checkpoint.