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TSA Checkpoint

A word about the current long TSA checkpoint wait times! Summer travel season is upon us. Millions of people will be traveling over the next several months and lines at security checkpoints are growing longer every day. The hours-long waits at airports across the country are the lead news story these days! Until a solution is reached, here are a few suggestions that might save your some time. First and foremost, arrive at LEAST three hours ahead for domestic flights, and four hours ahead for international flights. If your flight is leaving very early in the morning, consider staying over at a hotel close to the airport. That way, you’ll already be close and you will not have to worry about traffic too. Second, know the TSA screening procedures regarding liquids, laptops, removing shoes and jackets and be prepared as you approach the screening line. If you’re ready when you get to the screening area, you’ll move through the scanner faster and you’ll be on your way. If you fly often, consider applying for TSA Pre√. Currently, the fee is $85 for five years, and once approved, you will be able to use a faster line, and not have to remove your bag of liquids, laptop and shoes, thus you’ll be on your way faster.   You can apply on line and then set up an appointment to have your fingerprints and ID verified and pay the fee. You’ll be notified via email, or US Mail as to the status of your application. The average turnaround time is about 2 weeks. Pre-Check is worth considering if you’re a frequent traveler, or even if you just want to speed your trip through the airport. Next, consider checking your luggage. Yes, most carriers do charge for this; however, if more travelers start to do this, then there should be less time needed at the security checkpoint as there will be less luggage and less fumbling around trying to remove everything that needs to be screened! Carry only the things you need for the flight, and any valuables with you, in a small bag. Check everything else. At the very least, your security screening will be fast! Know your options if you wind up missing your flight. Before heading out, look to see if there’s another way to get to your final destination. Be flexible, and if you DO miss your flight, having a couple possible options to present to customer service will make the rebooking process move a little easier. Finally, pack your patience. Lines will likely get worse before they get better. By allowing plenty of extra time and preparing in advance, hopefully your trip will be relatively stress free. Think good thoughts – you’ll soon be relaxing in the sun and having an awesome vacation!

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