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TSA says spring break travel volume is 6% above 2023 levels

(WSYR) – We’re officially into March, meaning spring break travel is already underway for some — and starting very soon for others. And according to the Transportation Security Administration, travel volumes are expected to increase this year.
So far in 2024, travel volumes are trending at nearly 6% above the same period in 2023, the TSA says.
“TSA screened a record number of passengers in 2023, and we expect that trend to continue this year,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “We always work closely with our airline and airport partners to plan for and meet the increasing travel demand while doing our best to maintain our wait times of 30 minutes or less in standard lanes and 10 minutes or less in TSA PreCheck® lanes.”
The busy peak during the spring break travel season is expected to begin around March 7 and continue through March 25.
After putting time and effort into planning your perfect spring break getaway, TSA recommends travelers get their trip off to a great start by following the tips below:
1. Pack smart and remember the 3-1-1 rule.
Start with an empty bag to avoid packing prohibited items. Liquids, sunscreen containers and alcohol over 3.4 ounces must be packed in a checked bag. Liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes are allowed in carry-on bags as long as each item is 3.4 ounces or less and placed in a quart-sized bag, of which each passenger is limited to one.
Unloaded firearms must be packed in a locked, hard-sided case in checked baggage only and must be declared to the airline. Travelers who bring firearms or other weapons to the security checkpoint face consequences. To avoid delays, passengers should check TSA’s “What Can I Bring?” webpage.
2. Be checkpoint-ready and bring a valid ID
Arrive at the checkpoint with a mobile or printed boarding pass and a readily available valid ID. Follow guidance from TSA officers during the screening process. At many checkpoints, you may be asked to insert your physical ID into a Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) unit, where a boarding pass is not needed. Nearly 30 airports have a second generation of CAT, called CAT-2, which adds a camera with optional facial recognition technology and a smartphone reader.
Starting May 7, 2025, every air traveler aged 18 and older must have a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States. Contact your state DMV for more information.
3. Enroll in TSA PreCheck
TSA PreCheck membership allows for faster checkpoint screening. Teenagers aged 17 and under may accompany TSA PreCheck-enrolled parents or guardians through TSA PreCheck screening lanes, but they must be traveling on the same reservation and the TSA PreCheck indicator must appear on their boarding pass. Children 12 and under may accompany an enrolled parent or guardian through the TSA PreCheck lanes at any time without restriction. Most new enrollees receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) within five days, and membership lasts for five years. TSA PreCheck starts at $78 for a five-year membership, and online renewals are $70.
4. Arrive early and please be patient.
If traveling for spring break, give yourself plenty of time to account for traffic, parking, rental car returns, airline check-in, security screening and making any airport purchases before boarding your flight. The airport environment can be stressful, so try to remain patient. Passengers who are unruly at the checkpoint, the gate area or inflight may face substantial penalties and possible criminal charges.
5. Call ahead to request passenger support
Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and/or medical conditions can call the TSA Cares helpline toll-free at 855-787-2227 with questions about screening procedures. If you call at least 72 hours before travel, TSA Cares also arranges help at the checkpoint for travelers with specific needs. For more information, visit the TSA Cares website.
6. Ask TSA before you travel
Contact TSA over social media by sending a message to @AskTSA on X or Facebook Messenger. Passengers may also send a text directly to 275-872 (“AskTSA”) on any mobile device. An automated virtual assistant is available 24/7 to answer common questions, and AskTSA staff are available 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET for more complicated questions. Travelers may also call the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET on weekends and holidays. An automated service is available 24/7.

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