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Published on : Tuesday, May 10, 2016
The number of passengers who flew during the spring set records, and the summer season is expected to be even busier with more travelers than ever predicted to pass through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints. This summer more than 5,500 travelers will fly out of Richmond International Airport (RIC) on an average day. The best way to ensure a quick trip through the security screening process is to prepare, prepare, prepare.
Passenger preparedness can have a significant impact on wait times at security checkpoints nationwide. To facilitate the security screening process, travelers should arrive to RIC two hours in advance of their flight to ensure that they have time to park their cars, check their bags with their airline, get their boarding pass and make their way through the security screening process.
Travelers who arrive at checkpoints prepared for air travel can have an impact on lowering wait times at security checkpoints nationwide, just as individuals who come to the TSA checkpoint unprepared for a trip can have a negative impact on the time it takes to clear the checkpoint.
“The best advice I can offer air travelers this upcoming summer is to prepare,” says TSA’s Richmond Federal Security Director Chuck Burke. “By that I mean to prepare to get to the checkpoint early. Prepare your carry-on bag for coming through the checkpoint without any prohibited items inside. Ensure you are following the 3-1-1 regulation when carrying toiletries (up to 3.4 ounces in a 1-quart plastic bag and only one bag per person). Prepare by wearing easy-to-remove shoes. Prepare by emptying your pockets before you go through the checkpoint screening equipment. Preparation is the key to getting through the checkpoint efficiently.”
The most common mistake that passengers make is that they have items that are prohibited at a checkpoint—mainly oversize liquids and knives that are in their carry-on bags. “Prohibited items detected at a checkpoint are guaranteed to slow a checkpoint line,” Burke explained. “Making sure you’ve got no prohibited items with you is a critical part of preparing for airline travel.”
Travelers are strongly encouraged to follow these tips:
Arrive early. The increase in travel volume has a wide-ranging effect. Consider incorporating additional time in your travel plans for traffic, parking, rental car returns and airline check-in. TSA recommends arriving up to two hours in advance of your flight departure time for domestic travel.
Prepare for security when you are packing. Put large liquids, gels, creams, aerosols, into your checked bags such as shampoo, conditioner, suntan lotion, shaving cream, and anti-perspirant. If you’ve only got a carry-on bag, make sure all of your liquids follow the 3-1-1 rule outlined below. It’s also important to make sure that you’ve got no prohibited items in your luggage.
Follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule for your carry-on bag. When packing a carry-on bag, it is important to remember that liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces or less and all bottles must fit in a single quart size plastic bag and placed in a bin for screening. This includes sun block and tanning sprays. Let the TSA officer know right away if you’re traveling with larger quantities of medically necessary liquid medications.
Be ready when you enter the checkpoint line: Have an acceptable ID and boarding pass out and ready to hand to the TSA officer. Once you get to the divesting tables, remove large electronics including laptops and the 3-1-1 compliant liquids bag from carry-on baggage. Consider minimizing items that you wear to the airport such as bulky jewelry, scarves, hair accessories, large belts and other bulky items as these articles are likely to require additional screening. Remove all items from your pockets and put them into one of your carry-on bags so you won’t lose them.
Check the bins: Equally important, travelers are reminded to check the bins when collecting all belongings after going through screening and before leaving the checkpoint screening area. Often, travelers leave behind laptops, cameras, phones and loose change.