The Transportation Security Administration said the agency is preparing to handle its “busy” summer travel season, as it expects passenger volume to “match and at times exceed” pre-pandemic levels.
Airport traffic has seen significant declines during the COVID-19 pandemic, although these numbers have been rising steadily since 2020 as pandemic restrictions eased and people started to travel more.
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“The daily passenger volumes at TSA checkpoints show that people are traveling again and the TSA is ready for their return. Our airport security checkpoints include 47,500 highly trained security professionals and new technologies that improve security and reduce physical contact,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “We continue to recruit, retain, train and equip a highly skilled workforce, and we continuously work 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 run through Labor Day weekend in September.
The TSA said it has five tips for passengers traveling during the summer months:
• Face masks are optional but recommended — Following the refusal of several airlines in March, masks have become 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 experience high traffic peaks and construction delays, so plan to arrive early. At the TSA checkpoint, it’s helpful to have your ID handy and to obey the rules of no more than 3.4 ounces of liquids (hand sanitizer has a temporary limit of 12 ounces in handbags).
• Contact the TSA for assistance with questions or concerns – If passengers have special circumstances or questions about screenings, they can contact TSA members for assistance via their Twitter ( @AskTSA) or via Facebook Messenger from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The TSA Contact Center is also available at (866) 289-9673.
• Enroll in TSA PreCheck now for “Travel Made Easy” — Passengers can enroll in TSA PreCheck to avoid removing shoes, belts, food, laptops and liquids at TSA checkpoints.
For more information on security checks and travel tips, visit TSA.gov.
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