TSA chief: Travelers should expect high volume Holiday travel period
The Transportation Security Administration expects another high volume period for the upcoming holiday season. Between Dec. 19 and Jan. 5, TSA estimates 42 million passengers will travel through security screening checkpoints nationwide, an increase of 3.9 percent from 2018.
“I can’t express enough how proud I am of the TSA workforce,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “Year after year, season after season, they rise to the occasion to get each and every traveler securely to their holiday destination, even with increasing volume.”
During the holiday travel period, travelers should plan to arrive early enough to allow time to check in and get through the security screening process. In addition to screening personal electronic devices separately, including laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles, TSA officers may instruct travelers to separate other items from carry-on bags such as foods, powders, and any materials that can clutter bags and obstruct clear images on the X-ray machine. Keeping carry-on bags organized can ease the screening process and keep the lines moving. For more holiday tips, see our holiday travel tips page.
Members of TSA Pre✓® and CBP Global Entry trusted traveler programs will continue to receive expedited screening and do not have to remove electronics, the 3-1-1 liquids bag, laptops, light outerwear jackets, or belts.
Travelers requiring special accommodations or concerned about the security screening process at the airport can contact TSA Cares or may ask a TSA officer or supervisor for a passenger support specialist who can provide on-the-spot assistance. Travelers can also get assistance in real time by submitting their questions to @AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on weekends/holidays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. AskTSA has added a new virtual assistance feature and now is able to provide automated responses to frequently asked questions every day, 24 hours a day. Questions that cannot be resolved by the virtual assistant are automatically sent to an AskTSA Social Care Team Member for completion. Travelers can also reach the TSA Contact Center. Staff is available from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends/holidays; and an automated service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.