Spring Travelers May Break Airport Screening Record
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently confirmed it is prepared for the increase in air travelers and offers a few travel tips for the most efficient checkpoint experience this spring.
TSA anticipates that its Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) will screen increasing numbers of passengers at airport checkpoints as travel volumes may exceed pre-pandemic levels.
As of February 19, 2023, the TSA reported security checkpoint activity is on par with pre-pandemic 2019.
The spring break travel season begins around mid-February and continues through late April.
"We fully expect to see an upward trend in travel volumes throughout 2023, including during the spring break period," said TSA Administrator David Pekoske in a related press release.
"We coordinate closely with airports and air carriers to prepare for the projected increase in travel volumes.
"We expect to meet our wait time standards of 30 minutes or less in standard lanes and 10 minutes or less in TSA PreCheck® lanes."
"However, there may be some situations where the capacity of a checkpoint is exceeded."
In January 2023, 92% of TSA PreCheck passengers waited less than five minutes at TSA checkpoints nationwide.
The TSA published its top six travel tips to help spring break travelers arrive prepared for the most efficient TSA checkpoint experience:
Tip 1: Pack smart – start with an empty bag and ensure you do not have any prohibited items.
Tip 2: Remember the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule. Passengers may bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes through the checkpoint if each item is 3.4 ounces or less. And FAA regulations prohibit travelers from consuming alcohol on an aircraft unless a flight attendant serves. Additionally, flight attendants are not permitted to serve a passenger who appears to be intoxicated.
Tip 3: Enroll in TSA PreCheck. The five-year enrollment fee is $78; online renewals are $70. So don't delay, enroll in TSA PreCheck today.
Tip 4: Ask TSA before you travel. Contact TSA's travel security experts over social media by sending a message to @AskTSA on Twitter. Passengers may also text 275-872 ("AskTSA") on any mobile device.
Tip 5: Arrive early and carry on kindly. Spring break travelers should give themselves plenty of time to account for traffic, parking, rental car returns, airline check-in, security, and making any airport purchases before boarding a flight.
Tip 6: Be checkpoint ready. Arrive at the checkpoint lane with a mobile or printed boarding pass and valid ID readily available.
And those traveling abroad for spring break should check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Know Before You Go page to learn about required documentation.
For more information about TSA screening procedures, visit the customer service page, read the frequently asked questions, or watch TSA's travel tips videos.
Also, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes country-specific vaccination suggestions.
Travel vaccines are offered in the U.S. at certified clinics and pharmacies.