Traveling for Christmas? Review These TSA Holiday Travel Tips

TSA Holiday Travel Tips

“I’ll be home for Christmas, You can plan on me…”

And so we begin to travel to be with family and friends after likely missing out last year.

In a nutshell: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is offering tips on holiday travel as they anticipate an increase in travelers.

If you haven’t flown in a couple of years – well – things will look a little different, so be prepared with these TSA Holiday Travel Tips.

First, the TSA recommends arriving at the terminal at least two hours prior to your scheduled flight as they anticipate an increase in travelers this holiday season.

According to the TSA, individuals who have not traveled recently will notice some changes in the checkpoint screening process.

Here’s what to expect with the latest TSA Holiday Travel Tips:

  • When approaching the travel document checking podium, passengers will see TSA officers wearing masks and gloves.
  • Most will be positioned behind acrylic barriers to reduce cross contamination with passengers.
  • TSA officers will change their gloves between each pat down and they will use a fresh swab if they need to swab a traveler’s hands or their carry-on items.
  • When you approach the travel document checking podium, you will be asked to scan your own boarding pass—electronic or paper—to reduce a touch point.
  • Passengers will also be asked to remove their masks for a few seconds so that the officer can match the individual’s face to the photo on the ID.

As you place your items into bins along the conveyor belt, you will continue to see TSA officers in masks, gloves and face shields standing behind an acrylic barrier offering guidance and answering questions.

TSA officers will be changing their gloves between each pat-down and between each bag search.

You may request that a TSA officer put on a new pair of gloves at any time.

In addition, TSA employees will be conducting routine cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces and security screening equipment at the checkpoints.

Keep in mind that the TSA is currently allowing travelers to bring one liquid hand sanitizer container up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags until further notice.  You can also bring individually packaged alcohol or anti-bacterial wipes in carry-on or checked luggage.

As you think about your travel plans this holiday season or beyond, it may be a good idea to review “What can I bring?” at TSA as well as the free myTSA app – these could be helpful.

What about packing those gifts?

TSA Holiday Travel Tips

The TSA Holiday Travel Tips say …

  • Pack gifts in gift bags or gift boxes instead of wrapping them because if a gift triggers an alarm, it will need to be opened to resolve the alarm.
  • Wrapped gifts that trigger an alarm will need the gift wrap removed, but if the gift is in a bag or a box, it is simple to look at the item to resolve the alarm.

And in case you’re wondering…

Yes, you can bring the fruit cake in your carry on but leave the eggnog for your checked bag (if you dare).

Remember to wear your mask!

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About Donna Adinolfi - Editor-in-Chief 250 Articles
In addition to being our Editor-in-Chief, Donna Adinolfi is a wellness travel expert, a freelance writer, an award-winning photographer, and the founder/publisher of Her 30+ year career includes serving as the Travel & Spa Editor of Balance Magazine as well as planning wellness travel & retreats. An avid fan of the freedom from carrying cash or credit cards, Donna loves to visit all-inclusive wellness resorts in the U.S, and traveling to some of Mexico's and the Caribbean's many all-inclusive resorts several times each year. She's also a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association.
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