One of the greatest joys of Thanksgiving holiday travel is the excitement of heading to the airport, breezing through the check in and security stations and quickly getting to your destination with no surprises thanks to the seamless well-oiled machine that the US airline industry has become these days.
OK, so that’s all far from the truth and the real fact of the matter is that – as many people learned in a very painful way last Thanksgiving – air travel at this time of year is often extremely problematic.
Well, with that in mind, on Tuesday, Nov. 21, Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) put out a press release reminding everyone of ways they can make their trip in, out and through the airport much better.
PTIA Executive Director Kevin Baker stated in the release that airport staff is there to help.
“PTI staff and our many partners are prepared to offer a safe, secure, and efficient customer experience during the holiday travel period,” he said.
The release listed some steps passengers can take to make their trip to their loved ones faster, easier and less stressful.
Here are some key ones:
- Before leaving home, check-in online in advance and download your boarding pass to your phone. TSA agents and PTIA airlines accept mobile boarding passes.
- Even with a boarding pass, travelers should reconfirm flight status before they leave for the airport – flights are often delayed or canceled at this time of year.
- Get an early start. Allow plenty of time to get to the airport, park and go through airline check-in and the TSA screening. You can find a lot of useful information about getting through the security checkpoints faster and easier at www.tsa.gov.
- Be patient if delays occur. Pilots, airport staff, airline staff and others are working together to get travelers to their destinations safely and on time.
- Remember the rules and follow them. For instance, TSA screening procedures allow passengers 12 and under, and 75 and older, to leave their shoes on, and the adult group can leave on light jackets. TSA Pre-Check is offered at PTI.
- Limit your carry-on baggage. According to the release, “Airlines are enforcing tighter restrictions on the amount/size of baggage you may carry onto planes. Bring only one bag that will fit under the seat or in the overhead bin and one personal item, such as a purse or briefcase.”
- Keep medicine, jewelry, cameras and other valuables in your carry-on baggage.
- Remember that guns, ammunition and knives are prohibited at the TSA checkpoint. To see a complete list of permitted and prohibited items, you can visit www.tsa.gov.
- Food items such as pumpkin pies and fruit cakes are permitted through security checkpoints but may require inspection. If you’re not sure if a food item is considered a liquid or gel, it’s best to pack the item in checked baggage or ship it to a destination in advance.
- Remember 3-1-1 for liquids: Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces or less, and all bottles must fit in one quart size plastic bag and placed in a bin for screening. This includes sun block and tanning sprays. One quart-size bag is permitted per person.
- Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and medical conditions may call the TSA Cares helpline toll-free at 1-855-787-2227 or use the following link: https://www.tsa.gov/contact-center/form/cares to ask any questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint 72 hours prior to traveling. Injured service members and veterans including people associated with a wounded warrior program may contact TSA Cares to help facilitate the screening process.