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Glide through security this season

KATI HARTWIG

Holiday travel means longer lines at the checkpoints. While you might not skate through like any other time of year, read on for tips for a quick and efficient checkpoint process:

  1. Face masks are optional, but recommended by the CDC this holiday season.

  2. Give yourself plenty of time to avoid that stressful sprint to the gate. We recommend arriving at least 90 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights, and two hours for international. 

  3. Download your airline's app and use a mobile boarding pass for a touchless journey.

  4. Contact TSA for help if there are questions or concerns. Check out their website to learn more.

  5. Sign up for CLEAR or TSA Pre-Check to get you through the checkpoints quicker.

  6. Be REAL ID compliant: the deadline to obtain your REAL ID for domestic travel is coming up on May 3, 2023.

Get assistance with TSA Cares
For those traveling with disabilities, medical conditions, and other special circumstances, TSA offers a helpline to ease your mind prior to your departure. 

  • Submit a request for assistance by calling 855-787-2227 weekdays from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. and weekends/holidays from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Or, you can use the TSA Cares form on the TSA websiteTip: Call 72 hours prior to traveling to get any screening policies and procedures questions answered.

Double check before the checkpoint
Pack smart; start with empty bags. Those who take the time to come prepared for the checkpoint are far more likely to avoid any hold ups.

  • Snow globe? No-globe. Avoid the risk of having them confiscated by making sure it's in a checked bag instead of a carry-on. 
  • Remember, firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags. Be sure to double check your bags (maybe even triple check) to be sure your firearm isn't attempting to stow away.

Wondering if an item you’re wanting to bring is allowed? Check out TSA’s “What Can I Bring?” webpage.

Checkpoint hours
Every day the checkpoints open early morning and close after the last scheduled departure from each concourse.

  • Concourse A (Southwest) - 3:15 a.m. (daily)
  • Concourse B (American, Air Canada, Spirit, and United) - 4:00 a.m. (daily)
  • Concourse C (Delta, Alaska, Breeze, and Frontier) - 4:00 am. (daily)

Don't forget to make spirits bright with some drinks to go, or appetizers befor your flight. Check out more in our next tip...

Shopping, dining, and drinking