Flying within the U.S. this summer? You’re not alone. Experts estimate that more people are taking to the skies this year than ever before, with 40 million Americans traveling on Memorial Day weekend alone. Want to get through security as fast as possible, while still being safe? Check out these tips for domestic travel from your friends at TSA.
1. Get there early.
Why start your vacation stressed out? Give yourself plenty of time to park, check-in, and go through security. We recommend arriving two hours before your flight. If the lines are short, hey, more time for last minute gift shopping or to meet your fellow travelers.
2. Consider checking your bag.
More people flying = more carry-on bags = more time needed to get through the screening checkpoint.
3. If you must carry-on, make sure your bag is well-organized.
It takes time for TSA officers to make sure a jam-packed, cluttered, overstuffed bag is safe. And the more time is takes to screen your bag, the longer you—and everyone behind you—are stuck in line.
4. Get the 411 on 3-1-1.
TSA’s 3-1-1 is shorthand for the liquids rule. Basically, limit your liquids, gels and pastes to no more than 3.4 ounces, or 100 milliliters, in 1 bag that’s no bigger than 1 quart. That’s bigger than a sandwich bag, but smaller than a huge freezer bag. Sure, they could call it 1 bag-1 quart-3.4 ounces, but that’s much less catchy.
5. If you must travel with it, know how to safely pack your gun.
That sounds really obvious, right? Well, someone’s not getting the message—TSA found 3,391 guns in carry-on bags last year. That averages out to more than 9 guns every day of 2016. Think of The Godfather—Leave the gun, take the cannoli.
6. Be ready when you get in line.
Have appropriate ID and your boarding pass out and ready to go. Standard screening requires that you take your laptop out of your bag. Follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Wearing shoes you can get off and on easily also helps keep everyone behind you in line happy.
7. Get through the line faster with TSA Pre✓®.
TSA Pre✓® lets you leave your shoes, belt, and light jacket on while you go through security. You can also leave your laptop and your liquids in your bag. It costs $85 for five years—that’s only $17 a year. And isn’t your time worth $17 a year? Learn more at TSA.gov.
8. Now you’re ready for takeoff. Safe travels!
For further information about TSA procedures and other trusted traveler programs, read the frequently asked questions, watch TSA’s travel tips videos and visit DHS's new Trusted Traveler Comparison Tool.