The Transportation Security Administration said the agency is preparing to handle its “busy” summer travel season as it expects passenger volume will “match and may occasionally exceed” pre-pandemic levels.
Traffic at airports saw major declines during the COVID-19 pandemic, though those numbers have been steadily increasing since 2020 as pandemic restrictions eased and people began traveling more.
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“Daily passenger volumes at TSA checkpoints show that people are traveling again, and TSA is ready for their return. Our airport security checkpoints include 47,500 highly-trained security professionals and new technologies that enhance security and reduce physical contact, ”said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “We continue to recruit, retain, train and equip a highly skilled workforce, and we work continuously with our airport and airline partners to anticipate and prepare for higher traffic patterns.”
The agency said the summer travel season will begin in late May and continue through Labor Day weekend in September.
TSA said it has five tips for passengers flying during the summer months:
• Face masks are optional but recommended – Following pushback from several airlines in March, masks were made optional for passengers on flights. However, CDC guidelines still recommend passengers use face masks during travel.
• Pack smart; start with empty bags – Airline passengers who pack with empty bags are less likely to accidentally bring a prohibited item through airport checkpoints.
• Know before you go – Airports can have high traffic surges and construction delays, so plan to arrive early. At the TSA checkpoint, it’s helpful to have your ID card readily available and keep to rules of no more than 3.4 ounces of liquids (hand sanitizer has a temporary 12-ounce limit in carry-on baggage).
• Contact TSA for help if there are questions or concerns – If passengers have special circumstances or questions about screenings, they can reach out to TSA members for help through their Twitter (@AskTSA) or via Facebook Messenger from 8 am to 6 pm The TSA Contact Center is also available at (866) 289-9673.
• Enroll now in TSA PreCheck to “Travel with Ease” – Passengers can enroll in TSA PreCheck to avoid removing shoes, belts, food, laptops and liquids at TSA checkpoints.
For additional information about security screening and travel tips, visit TSA.gov.
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