TWIN FALLS — This Thanksgiving is expected to be the busiest ever for air travel. Last year, the Transportation Security Administration noticed that instead of waiting for the day before Thanksgiving, people began to travel the Friday before. This trend is expected to continue. According to projections from TSA, it will screen 25 million travelers between Nov. 16 through Nov. 26. On average, TSA screens 2.1 million people a day said TSA Public Affairs Manager Lorie Dankers. Those numbers are likely to increase by 25 percent. She said that Nov. 16 is expected to be one of the busiest days.
“The most successful travelers are those that are those prepared,” Dankers said.
Here are five tips to get through TSA quickly this holiday season:
- Arrive at the airport 90 minutes before your flight departure to give enough time to be screened through security. Arriving early gives you plenty of time to arrive at your gate.
- Electronics larger than a cell phone must be removed from bags and scanned separately. Organize your carry-on bag so they can be easily accessed.
- Remove travel-sized liquids, gels and aerosols from all carry-on luggage.
- Dress for success, avoid jewelry, scarves, hair accessories and large belts. Remember to remove all items from your pocket, your belt and shoes.
- TSA has an active social media presence, at www.twitter.com/asktsa or www.facebook.com/AskTSA you can send a tweet or message to ask what you are allowed to bring on the plane.
Federal Security Director for TSA in Idaho Andrew Coose said that the single line makes it difficult, because if one person stalls, it slows everyone else down.
“TSA’s goal is the same as the passengers,” Coose said. “We want to get everyone to their flight as safely and as quickly as possible.”
If the weather is poor Friedman Memorial Airport will divert flights and bus passengers to the Magic Valley Regional Airport, which can make TSA busier. Sheryl Mukhar, the manager of TSA for the two airports, said that last year there were 157 flights diverted to the Magic Valley airport.
“Just because it’s a small airport doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared,” Mukhar said.