CHARLOTTE, NC (WJZY) - With the number of travelers growing significantly year-over year, TSA said they're prepared to effectively screen millions of people expected to travel over the Spring Break season.
TSA said they normally screens nearly 2 million passengers daily. With passenger volumes up more than 7 percent over the same time period last year, TSA said they expect passenger volumes to drastically increase throughout the month of March.
Thursday, March 24, TSA screened nearly 30,000 passenger at Charlotte Douglas International Airport with wait times exceeding 20 minutes.
During peak travel periods Friday, passengers experienced wait times exceeding 45 minutes. The wait times were due to a combination of enhanced security measures and an increase in passenger volume.
TSA said on Friday the vast majority of passengers were infrequent travelers and families who travel just once or twice a year and are unfamiliar with the security procedures, which slows the entire process for everyone.
Passenger preparedness can have a significant impact on wait times at security checkpoints nationwide. To facilitate the security screening process, TSA is reminding travelers 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. We recommend arriving at U.S. airports at least two hours prior to flight time if not enrolled in TSA Pre✓®
• If possible, print out your 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 TSA.gov 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.
• Reducing the amount of congestion in your carry-on bag will enable it to move through screening faster.
• Avoid wearing large metal jewelry 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.
• Travelers who have medical conditions or disabilities are encouraged to call the TSA Cares toll-free helpline in advance of their trip at 1-855-787-2227 to ask about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the checkpoint. It is recommended to call 72 hours in advance of the trip.