TSA Travel Tips: Memorial Day & Summer Travel 2016

While Memorial Day is seen by many as the official start of summer, there is more to the day than pool openings and cookouts. Having fun with your families and friends is important, but of equal importance is taking a moment to reflect on those who have fought and died for our nation. Read about the history of Memorial Day.

For those of you who will travel, not just on Memorial Day but also over the summer months, your preparedness can have a significant impact on the screening experience and the amount of time spent waiting at security checkpoints nationwide. In order to help you better prepare and plan ahead for the busy summer travel season, we’ve put together some travel tips that will help you glide through security.

Arrive Early! You can expect lots of company checking in, checking bags and in the lines leading to security screening. We recommend arriving up to 2 hours early for domestic flights and 3 hours for international destinations.

 Get Expedited Screening: TSA Pre✓® is an expedited screening program that enables low-risk travelers to enjoy a smart and efficient screening experience. For TSA Pre✓® travelers, there is no need to remove shoes, 3-1-1 liquids, laptops, light outerwear or belts. In the month of March (2016), 95% of those enrolled in TSA Pre✓®  waited five minutes or less to be screened.16 carriers participate in TSA Pre✓®: Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, American Airlines, Cape Air, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Seaborne Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin America and WestJet. Apply for TSA Pre✓® today!

 TSA Pre✓® for U.S. Armed Forces: All members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those serving in the Reserves and National Guard are entitled to TSA Pre✓® expedited screening at no cost at select airports when flying on participating airlines. Cadets and midshipmen of the U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy and Air Force Academy are also eligible to receive TSA Pre✓® screening benefits. Use your Department of Defense identification number when making flight reservations. Accompanying family members ages 12 and under can be processed through expedited screening as well. Learn about TSA Pre✓®.

U.S. Armed Forces members do not need to be in uniform and may use TSA Pre✓® while on personal or official travel.

Enter the 10-digit DoD ID number located on the back of the common access card as your known traveler number when making flight reservations or when updating your Defense Travel System (DTS) profile for official travel. If the number is not on your Common Access Card (CAC), you may obtain it by logging on to milConnect. You will find your ID number under the “My Profile” tab. To ensure future airline reservations automatically include your DoD ID number, save it in your DTS profile. You may also save your DoD ID number in any frequent flyer program profile of the participating airlines. Read the TSA Pre✓® military FAQ.

Prepare for Security: Have an acceptable ID and boarding pass out and available for examination, and also remove large electronics including laptops and the 3-1-1 compliant liquids bag, from carry-on baggage.

TSA Recognized Locks: Read about TSA recognized locks when locking your checked bags.

Liquids, Gels & Aerosols: If you’re checking a bag, make things simple by properly packing liquids in your checked baggage. That way, you don’t have to worry about the liquids rule. If you’re concerned about them leaking, do what I do and put them in a zip-top bag. If you only travel with a carry-on, read about the 3-1-1 liquids rule: each passenger is allowed to take as many 3.4 ounce or less sized containers that will fit in one sealed clear quart-sized zip-top bag – and one bag per person. Make sure you take the zip-top bag out of your carry-on prior to sending it through the X-ray.

Deodorant: Stick deodorant is not limited to 3.4 oz. or less, but gel or spray deodorant is.

Suntan & Sun Block Lotion: Lotions – both pump and aerosol – fall under the procedures that I mentioned above. Sun block sticks do not fall under this rule.

Beverages: Wine, liquor, beer, and all of your favorite beverages are permitted in your checked baggage. You can also bring beverages packaged in 3.4 oz. or less bottles in your carry-on bags in the baggie.

Duty Free Liquids: You may carry duty free liquids in secure, tamper–evident bags, more than 3.4 oz or 100 ml in your carry-on bag if:

The duty free liquids were purchased internationally and you are traveling to the United States with a connecting flight.
The liquids are packed in a transparent, secure, tamper-evident bag by the retailer and do not show signs of tampering when presented to TSA for screening.
The original receipt for the liquids is present and the purchase was made within 48 hours.

Foods: Here is a list of foods that should be placed in your checked bags or shipped: creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, dressings), jams, jellies, maple syrup, oils and vinegars, sauces and soups.

Check for Prohibited Items: Use the “Can I bring my…” tool to check what items are allowed and not allowed in carry-on and checked luggage.

Forgotten or Lost IDs: If you have lost or forgotten your ID, you will still be permitted to fly as long as you help us verify who you are by answering a few questions. Read about how you may travel without an ID.

Traveling With Children: Did you know that children 12 and under can keep their shoes on? If you’re going on a family trip this summer, be sure to read more tips on traveling with children.

Camping, Backpacking, or Fishing: If you’re heading to the great outdoors, be sure to check out this post for tips on traveling with camping and fishing gear.

Lose Something? Contact the TSA lost & found at your airport.

Traveling With a Pet: TSA does not prohibit travel with pets. However, it is very important that you contact your airline first so they can let you know about any requirements, fees, or restrictions they might have. Read about traveling with your pet.

Shaving Razors: What kinds of razors can you pack in your carry-on? Read which razors can travel.

Medication: One of the more popular questions we get from travelers is: “Can I travel with my medication.” The answer is yes, with some qualifiers. Read about traveling with your meds.

Dry Ice: Did you know that you can take dry ice in your carry-on or in checked baggage? Read about traveling with dry ice to keep your favorite vittles preserved.

Scuba Diving: Traveling with diving gear this summer? Read this post from our resident diving expert for tips and travel information.

Jewelry: Should you remove jewelry or keep it on to go through security? In most cases you can keep it on, but there are a few different choices that you can make based on what kind of jewelry it is. Read this post about wearing jewelry as you pass through the security checkpoint.

Sporting Goods: Golf clubs, baseball bats (including the mini slugger bats), cricket bats, bows and arrows, hockey sticks, scuba knives, spear guns, etc., are all prohibited from being carried onto the plane. However, you can place them in your checked baggage.

Insect Repellents: They are permitted in your carry-on bag and checked baggage. The liquid limits apply when carrying these in your carry-on bags.

If You See Something, Say Something™: Public awareness is key for supporting TSA’s security efforts; therefore, TSA encourages travelers to remember “If You See Something, Say Something™.” For those traveling abroad, check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Know Before You Go page to learn about required documentation.

 @AskTSA: Still have questions? Well, if you’re on Twitter, there is a new way to contact us. Reach out to our @AskTSA team. We have a team standing by from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays. If you prefer to call or submit an online form, you can reach out to our contact center weekdays from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time and weekends/holidays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

TSA Cares: Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and medical conditions may call the TSA Cares helpline toll free at 1-855-787-2227 with any questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint, 72 hours prior to traveling. Injured service members and veterans including individuals associated with a wounded warrior program may contact TSA Cares to help facilitate the screening process.

Travel safely, conveniently and have a great summer!!!

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