TSA travel advice ahead of a busy holiday season

This year’s holiday travel season is expected to be a record-breaking one, and the Transportation Security Administration is offering tips and new technology to get travelers where they’re going quickly and safely.

Nearly 27 million people are projected to make their way through airport security lines nationwide between Nov. 22 and Dec. 2, the TSA said. That’s a 4% increase over last year.

Patty Cogswell, the TSA’s acting deputy administrator, said a busy Thanksgiving travel week means more resources, a focus on safety and helping folks who might not travel often.

She reminded travelers to pack smart.

“Please make sure that you’ve gone through your bag to make sure you’re not bringing a prohibited item,” Cogswell said. “The No. 1 thing we hear from passengers is ‘I forgot it was there.'”

Travelers who sign up for TSA Pre will be able to take advantage of new blended lanes, which will honor their TSA Pre status even in smaller airports that may not have dedicated lanes for them. “You still get to leave your coat on and leave materials in your bag,” said Cogswell.

The TSA is also rolling out new technology, such as credential authentication machines, that will allow for the verification of documents such as licenses and passports more securely and faster than an officer using a lamp or lights. New X-ray machines will also be rolled out later this year, to allow items such as laptops and other electronics to be left in bags.

So check ahead and plan accordingly to make sure your holiday travels don’t steal your holiday cheer.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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