“During the Thanksgiving travel period, we saw the highest throughput volume since 2019, and we expect that trend to continue over the upcoming holiday travel period,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a news release.
The Transportation Security Administration has tips for fliers bringing food and gifts home this holiday season as it readies for passenger totals to reach pre-pandemic levels.
Officials say passengers should be aware of travel conditions and arrive early for their flight, especially during the busiest days for year-end holiday travel — Dec. 22 through Dec. 30.
“During the Thanksgiving travel period, we saw the highest throughput volume since 2019, and we expect that trend to continue over the upcoming holiday travel period,” TSA administrator David Pekoske said in a news release.
Some of the tips that TSA has for travelers include:
- Not bringing firearms or other prohibited items through TSA checkpoints
- Ensuring any gifts brought aboard can be unwrapped and inspected if needed
- Bringing an acceptable form of ID
- Enrolling in TSA PreCheck
- Requesting any needed assistance or passenger support at least 72 hours before arriving
- Using digital assistants like @AskTSA on social media, “AskTSA” (275-872) via text or the TSA Contact Center at 1-866-289-9673
- Practicing good cybersecurity habits and being aware while in the airport
- Be patient and gracious with front-line flight and airport staff
For those bringing food on a flight, the TSA says solids are good to go. Your liquids and spreadable foods, however, may be less likely to make it on board. Finish up any of those items before you hop aboard a plane.
John M. Busch, a federal security director for the Department of Homeland Security, said the department has been most concerned about the presence of prohibited firearms on flights. All three local airports have seen 25 or more firearms at a checkpoint this year.
“All I can ask of everybody is if you are a responsible gun owner, know where your firearm is before you set out to travel from your home. Check your bag. Check it twice,” Busch said.
Busch added that firearm owners should be weary of carrying ammunition or any weapons into an airport because “it’s going to be a very troubling experience” for both the owner and other passengers.
“We will call the local law enforcement over. In this environment, in our jurisdiction, you will be cited by the police with a criminal citation and violation of Virginia law,” Busch said.
“And it also is very disruptive to the rest of our security checkpoint. All of our officers are very well trained in dealing with these issues, but when something like that comes through our checkpoint, it stops everything.”
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