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TSA Issues New Alert For Travelers To Follow These 6 Important Steps This Spring

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Spring is here, and it’s time to dust off your travel luggage, dig your passport out of the drawer, and get your head back into wanderlust mode.

Part of that process, even if you are a seasoned traveler, should really involve brushing up on the travel basics, especially with spring known for being one of the busiest times.

young woman stands in airport with her suitcase looking to find her way

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is expecting the period between March 7 and March 25 to be very busy, with the number of travelers passing through the country’s airports so far in 2024 already tracking at almost 6% higher than last year.

With this in mind, the TSA is reminding travelers of six important steps they should follow to help ensure their spring travel runs without a hitch:

Be Smart With Packing

happy woman lying on bed with her packed suitcase ready to travel

The TSA has some simple but effective advice for packing when you travel – the first and most obvious is to start with an empty bag before you pack.

That way, you won’t unintentionally bring any items that could cause you a delay when you get to security at the airport. 

Even something as innocent as a bottle of shampoo could hold you up if it’s over 3.4 ounces and ends up in your carry-on bag.

Be sure you are starting out from empty and know exactly what is allowed in both your check-in and carry-on bags. 

Be Ready For Checkpoints

a woman having her luggage checked at airport security

Sometimes the excitement of thinking about pressing your toes into soft, warm sand can get the better of you when you’re at the airport. 

Standing there daydreaming, you suddenly realize you’re at the front of the queue for an ID check – time to start fumbling around in your bag to find it.

TSA advises that you have your valid ID ready and waiting before you join the queue, as well as a printed or mobile boarding pass. 

Always ensure you listen to TSA and security staff and follow their instructions – they want to get you to where you're going safely and quickly.

Consider TSA PreCheck

standard and tsa precheck queues at an airport

If you’re a traveler worth your salt, then you’ll already know all about TSA PreCheck, a program that allows you to get through security faster at more than 200 U.S. airports.

But with more and more people signing up for PreCheck, is it still worth it in 2024?

The answer, at least according to the TSA, is most certainly yes. 

It costs just $78 for a five-year membership, and for 99% of members, you will be waiting less than 10 minutes in line at security at participating airports. Plus, did you know many credit cards offer a reimbursement for TSA PreCheck? Here are some of our favorite travel cards.

What’s more, you can take a child aged 17 years or under with each PreCheck-registered adult so long as they are on the same booking reservation and they have the TSA PreCheck indicator on their boarding pass.

Children aged 12 and under may accompany a PreCheck-registered adult with no restrictions.

Give Yourself Time And Be Patient

a queue of people waiting to check in at an airport out of focus

It’s obvious, but arriving early is one of the simplest ways to make your travel experience smoother and less stressful. 

Spring is a busy time of year, so by giving yourself extra time to park, return rental cars, and navigate security and check-in, you’ll be doing yourself and your fellow passengers a real favor.

Also, remember that everyone is in a heightened state of stress while traveling, so be patient and understanding – we’re all just trying to get somewhere.

Call Ahead If You Need Support

female traveler on the phone in a cafe

The TSA has a special toll-free helpline that can help with any additional support needs you may have as a traveler.

They advise that you call at least 72 hours before you fly, but they are always more than happy to help. The number is 855-787-2227.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask

logo of the us transport security administration under a magnifying glass

Finally, it’s worth remembering that the TSA is all about helping us as travelers.

You can contact them at any time via several different methods – message @AskTA on X (formerly Twitter) or use Facebook Messenger on the TSA page.

You can also text 275-872 or get in touch with the TSA contact center at 866-289-9673.

There’s no such thing as a silly question if it will help everyone get to their destination faster.

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