Memorial Day Weekend kicks off the busy summer travel season. For the many people who will take to the skies to get to their desired destinations, airports can be a struggle to navigate, particularly as crowds increase.
Christine Johnson, a Transportation Security Administration Agent at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport shared some tips that will make your trip through security checkpoints hopefully easier and speedier.
- "Arrive at the airport two hours before your flight," Johnson said. If the airport is busy, TSA won't bump you to the front of the line just to catch your flight when you're running late.
- "Take everything out of your pockets." That means EVERYTHING – driver's license, boarding pass, lip balm, tissues, keys, phones, wallets – it's all got to go to the side as you pass through the X-ray screener.
- If you have liquids, gels, or aerosols bigger than 3.4 ounces, leave them at home or in checked luggage. If TSA needs to perform a bag check, it slows you down, as well as the rest of the line.
“Fireworks and sparklers are not permitted on airplanes – not in carry-on bags or checked bags. Don’t even bring them to the airport,” Johnson advises.
If you are using a mobile boarding pass on your phone, have it up and ready as you approach the TSA agent. Fumbling to bring it up as you are at the desk slows down the line. Printed mobile passes don't work either.
Make sure to take all electronic items larger than a cellphone out of your bags. This includes laptops, tablets, e-readers, camera bodies, Bluetooth speakers, etc. Again, failing to do so will result in a bag check, which slows down everyone.
Listen to TSA officers, they will have important information and guidance. If you need specialized assistance due to medical conditions or other reasons, call the TSA Cares Line at least 72 hours in advance of your travel at 855-787-2227.
And lastly, though it should go without saying, GUNS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN CARRY ON LUGGAGE. Either leave them at home or have them properly packed in checked baggage.