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New TSA Screening Procedures Coming This Summer

As the summer travel season gears up and moves into high gear, the TSA has announced that they will be testing enhanced security screening procedures at 10 airports around the country and in Puerto Rico.  These new procedures have already been in use at a couple airports over the past 18 months and if this new, broader test works out well, expect the program to be expanded again.  This new program should roll out to the airports listed below sometime this summer. What does this mean for you?  POSSIBLY longer lines, and additional items that will need to be removed from carryon baggage.  Why is this happening?  Travelers are trying to cram as much stuff into their carryon bags as possible.  Due to so many items being in such a small space, screeners are having a hard time differentiating between things in the bag. By having more items re3moved from carryon bags and placed into bins, the hope is that there will be less of a need for screeners to manually screen your carryon bag.  Essentially some common, everyday items may look suspicious when the bag I x-rayed and by removing them before the bag goes into the scanner, TSA hopes that the security lines will actually move faster. The airports that are part of the expanded test program are as follows:
  • BOI-Boise, Idaho
  • COS-Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • DTW –Detroit, Mich
  • FLL-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla
  • BOS-Boston, Mass
  • LAX – Los Angeles
  • LBB-Lubbock, Texas
  • SJU-San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • LAS-Las Vegas
  • PHX-Phoenix, Arizona
Passengers flying from these locations will need to remove any electronics items larger than cell phones.  Additionally, screeners may ask that food items and even books be placed in bins for screening.  Those passengers who do not wish to comply may have their bags opened for manual inspection. TSA is also testing new equipment to verify your ID against the passenger manifest for your flight, thus an officer will no longer need to compare your boarding pass to your ID.  This new equipment will be tested at IAD-Washington Dulles this month and will be rolled out to DCA-Washington National, ORD-Chicago O’Hare, BOS-Boston Logan, ATL-Atlanta and AUS-Austin, Texas later in 2017. Good news for those of us who already have TSA PreCheck – we will not be subjected to this new, additional screening provided we’re using airports where TSA PreCheck is in place.  Of course, there’s always a chance for those travelers with PreCheck to be pulled aside for random additional screening.  The Travel Experts at Luggage Factory are advocates for joining the TSA PreCheck program, or Global Entry (which includes PreCheck).  The time saved by having PreCheck is well worth the $85 cost (for 5 years). Keep your eyes open if you’re flying from any of the above airports this summer.  Prepare yourself by having electronics, food and books packed so that they’re readily available for you to remove them prior to screening.  

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