The Transportation Security Administration anticipates that people will flock to airports in greater numbers than last year in the period leading up to Christmas and New Year’s Day, approaching pre-pandemic levels. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, nearly 48,000 flights are scheduled for Dec. 22. The busiest days are predicted for Dec. 22 and 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 statement.
“We are prepared for the increased volume and expect to meet our wait time standards of 30 minutes or less in standard lanes and 10 minutes or less in TSA PreCheck lanes. However, there may be some situations where the capacity of a checkpoint is exceeded,” he added.
To speed up the screening procedure, the TSA recommended that travelers understand what they may and cannot bring through security. Firearms, explosives, flammables, knives, razors, and fake weapons are always prohibited in carry-on luggage, as are liquids greater than 3.4 ounces.
Solid foods are permitted.
If a traveler is unsure if an item is permitted, they can consult the TSA’s “What Can I Bring?” website, which contains a searchable list of both permitted and forbidden items. Additionally, travelers can post queries to “@AskTSA” on Twitter or Facebook Messenger to get answers to specific problems. Every day, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, including holidays and weekends, staff is available.
Travelers flying with gifts should ensure that they are unwrapped and can be inspected if necessary. Openable gift bags and boxes are also a fantastic idea.
Travelers should also bring proper identification, such as a passport or driver’s license. The Department of Homeland Security delayed the rollout of its REAL ID program by two years earlier this month. It will now be implemented on May 7, 2025.
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