Traveling for Spring Break? Here's How TSA Is Preparing for Long Lines

Traveling for Spring Break? Here's How TSA Is Preparing for Long Lines
Travelers wait in line for security screening at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Nov. 29, 2020 in SeaTac, Washington. (David Ryder/Getty Images/TNS)

By Donald Wood From TravelPulse

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is offering tips and tricks for travelers as they prepare for the busy spring break travel period.

The government agency said it expects Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) to screen increasing numbers of passengers at airport checkpoints as travel volumes may exceed pre-pandemic levels between now and April 21.

To meet the demand, the TSA announced progress on enhanced security, checkpoint efficiency and passenger experience investments, including increasing public awareness about traveling with firearms and deploying new technology.

“In January, we experienced our first full month where travel volumes exceeded the same month in 2019,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said. “We fully expect to see an upward trend in travel volumes throughout 2023, including during the spring break period.

“We coordinate closely with airports and air carriers to prepare for the projected increase in travel volumes and 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,” Pekoske continued. “However, there may be some situations where the capacity of a checkpoint is exceeded.”

For travelers, TSA recommends following these travel tips to ensure a smooth holiday journey, including starting with an empty bag when packing to ensure there are no prohibited items and following the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule.

  • Alcoholic beverages with between 25% and 70% alcohol are limited in checked bags to 1.3 gallons per passenger and must be in unopened retail packaging. Alcoholic drinks with 24% alcohol or less are not subject to limitations in checked bags.
  • In addition to asking passengers to arrive early and be kind to service providers and fellow travelers, the TSA offers PreCheck membership that allows 92% of travelers to wait less than five minutes at checkpoints nationwide.

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