Travelling to or from the US – arrive prepared

If international media reports are anything to go by, passengers travelling to and from airports in the United States can expect extreme delays at security checkpoints.


Media are referring to the current delays at US airports as the ‘worse-than-ever-wait times at security’ and speculation is rife on how long the current situation will last. Most reports forecast that these long wait times will last through the US’s busy summer travel season, while other reports indicate that wait times will persist at least through the end of the year when a new budget might be approved for the TSA to flesh out its poorly staffed teams.


In a statement published by the TSA, it said that it normally screens nearly two million passengers daily and that passenger volumes are currently up more than 7% compared to the same time period last year.


However, the TSA said that passenger preparedness can have a significant impact on wait times at security checkpoints nationwide. To facilitate the security screening process, TSA is reminding travellers to follow these tips:


  • Arrive early to the airport to allow enough time to park, get your boarding pass, check your baggage, and go through the checkpoint.
  • Print out boarding passes prior to arriving at the airport.
  • Know what is in your bag. Passengers who bring prohibited items to the checkpoint slow the screening process for themselves and everyone behind them. If in doubt about an item, use the “When I fly can I bring my…” tool on to make sure your item is permitted in carry-on and/or checked baggage.
  • Pack your liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes in compliance with the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Passengers who violate this rule will also cause delays for themselves and everyone behind them.
  • Remove all items from your pockets and put the items into your carry-on bag or into a bin when you get to the checkpoint. You may save time if you remove everything from your pockets before you get to the checkpoint.
  • Reduce the amount of congestion in your carry-on bag. Doing so will enable it to move through screening faster.
  • Avoid wearing large metal jewellery or clothing with large metal embellishments to reduce the possibility of alarming the screening machine.
  • Pay close attention to the instructions that the TSA officers provide at the checkpoint. This helps the process move along efficiently.