WASHINGTON–The Transportation Security Administration kicked off the Spring Break travel period, which typically begins in late February and continues into April, and is prepared for yet another record number of travelers.
TSA expects to screen approximately 107 million passengers and crew from March 14 to April 28, which is an increase of more than 3 percent compared to the same period last year.
“As we enter the busy Spring Break travel period, our officers remain committed to ensuring the highest level of security for the traveling public even as passenger volume continues to increase,” said Administrator David Pekoske. “We’re working alongside our airport, airline and industry partners every day to improve the traveling experience and keep every traveler safe.”
Through the Airport Operations Center, TSA tracks daily screening operations at every major airport to rapidly address any issues that arise by deploying and shifting resources as needed, including personnel, canine teams and technology. Working closely with airport and airline stakeholders, TSA will maintain secure and efficient operations at checkpoints nationwide during the busy travel season.
With the increased volume during the Spring Break travel period, delays at the airport may occur. Eligible individuals can apply for TSA Pre✓, an expedited screening program that enables low-risk travelers to enjoy a smart and efficient screening experience at more than 200 U.S. airports. For TSA Pre✓ travelers, there is no need to remove shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts or light jackets. To date this year, 94 percent of passengers in TSA Pre✓ lanes waited less than five minutes.
TSA Pre✓ members who have enjoyed expedited screening since 2013 are now eligible to renew their membership. Renewing members may begin the process up to six months before the membership expiration date. For most members, renewal is easy and may be completed online.
Travelers can also help avoid delays at the airport by arriving prepared. Preparedness can have a significant impact on efficiency at security checkpoints nationwide. The following are helpful tools and travel tips to ensure a smooth checkpoint experience:
Arrive early. Consider adding time in your travel plans for traffic, parking, rental car returns and airline check-in. Arrive up to two hours in advance of your flight departure time for domestic travel and three hours for international flights.
Know the TSA Pre✓ lane hours. For TSA Pre✓ members, a feature on our website lists the operating hours for the TSA Pre✓ lanes at approximately 200 airports. Travelers can enter their airport, day of week and time of day of travel, and the tool will return the availability of a dedicated TSA Pre✓ lane(s).
Prepare for security. Have a valid ID and boarding pass readily available, and remember to separate large electronics, including laptops and liquids bag from carry-on baggage. These procedures help declutter carry-on baggage so that TSA officers can focus more on resolving any threats while maintaining a smooth screening experience for travelers. Avoid over packing your carry-on bag or consider checking bags when feasible.
Follow the liquids rule. Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces or less and all containers must fit inside a single quart-size plastic bag and be placed in a bin for carry-on baggage screening. This includes sun block and tanning lotions.
Check for prohibited items. Avoid delays by checking for prohibited items. There are ways to properly transport sporting equipment, food, medicine, and other common items in checked baggage. Enter the item name using our “What Can I Bring?” tool.
Need help? Issues receiving TSA Pre✓ on your boarding pass? Unsure if an item is allowed through security? Get live assistance by tweeting your questions and comments to @AskTSA or via Facebook Messenger, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends/holidays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can also reach the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673 or complete the online form.
As a reminder, public awareness is key for supporting TSA’s security efforts. Travelers are encouraged to report suspicious activities, and remember If You See Something, Say Something. For individuals traveling abroad, please check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Know Before You Go page to learn about required documentation.