In the Community: From Transportation Security Administration
‘Tis the season for gift-giving, but don’t forget to pamper yourself a little this holiday season. If you’re a traveler, here are some TSA (Transportation Security Administration) suggestions for gifts to get for yourself that will go a long way to helping ensure that you’ll have a smooth TSA experience not just during the holidays, but all year long.
Top five TSA-related gifts
- Enroll or re-enroll in TSA PreCheck®.
Members of the popular TSA PreCheck program have access to checkpoint lanes that move faster than standard checkpoint lanes because travelers who are enrolled in TSA PreCheck can leave on their shoes, belts, lightweight jackets and they can leave electronics and small containers of liquids in their carry-on bags. Just last month 92 percent of TSA PreCheck passengers waited less than five minutes in security lanes. Plus, children 12 and under can join a parent/guardian in a dedicated TSA PreCheck lane. The cost to enroll recently dropped to $78 per person ($70 to renew) and the membership is good for five years. Treat yourself this holiday by enrolling in TSA PreCheck. There are more than 500 enrollment locations across the country.
- If you own a firearm and you want to travel with it, gift yourself a hard-sided case for your gun.
You can get a good case at a local sporting goods store, a gun shop or online. Because yes, you can travel with a firearm as long as it is packed properly. If it’s not packed properly, you will come face-to-face with a police officer and you’ll get a hefty civil citation from TSA. The proper way to pack a firearm is to make sure it is unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided case and then taken to your airline counter to be declared and placed in the cargo hold of the plane with the other checked baggage to ensure that nobody has access to the firearm during a flight. The cases come in all sorts of styles and price ranges. You can easily find one that suits you.
- Purchase a TSA-compatible lock for your checked baggage.
If your checked bag triggers an alarm during the security screening process, the bag will need to be opened so that a TSA officer can resolve the alarm. If there is a TSA-compatible lock, then the TSA officer will use a master key to open the lock to peek inside the suitcase and then re-lock the suitcase afterward. However, if the lock is not TSA-compatible, the lock will be cut off to enable the TSA officer to open the suitcase to resolve the alarm. You can tell if the lock is TSA compatible by looking at the key hole. If the letters TSA are engraved near the key hole with a code number (the code indicates which master key will be needed), then it’s a TSA compatible lock.
4. Get yourself an assortment of travel-sized toiletries that fit into a single clear quart-size bag.
Each traveler may carry liquids, gels and aerosols in a carry-on bag as long as the travel-size containers are 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or smaller and as long as they all fit into one resealable quart-size bag. Perhaps consider getting a nice new clear bag to put them in.
- Here’s a freebie you can get, courtesy of TSA. Download the free myTSA app.
You will love its many features, the best of which is the “Can I bring?” feature. Type in the name of an item and the app will let you know immediately whether you should pack it in a checked bag, carry-on bag, either or neither. The app also has a link directly to TSA’s social media team so you can send a question via Facebook Messenger or Twitter. It also has helpful resources and locations where you can review a travel checklist; review a list of valid identification documents that you can use at a checkpoint; learn about exemptions to the limits on liquids and how to carry duty-free liquids on inbound international flights. Travelers can also select their home or favorite airports to learn about any flight delays and review estimates of security wait times. The myTSA app will enhance every traveler’s experience.