TSA just announced they are expecting the busiest summer travel season on record.

With that comes a lot of potential chaos and frustrations between the security checkpoint and boarding your flight.

Passing through security can be one of the most stressful parts of your trip, but with the right planning, it can also be the smoothest.

Nobody wants to be that person holding up the line in a place nobody wants to be in the first place. Nor does anyone want to be on the receiving end of a grumpy TSA agent barking orders.

To make your summer travels as seamless as possible, TSA is urging travelers to follow these 8 important tips:

1) Upgraded Tech

Travelers in line at TSA checkpoint

In the TSA’s own words, “TSA is using the second generation of Credential Authentication Technology (CAT-2), which features the same capabilities as the CAT, confirming the authenticity of a passenger’s identification credentials with their acceptable photo identification credential along with their flight details and pre-screening status, but with an added camera feature.”

Uhh…what? TSA, are you hiring new writers?

Translation: Security protocols vary airport to airport and so does their technological capabilities.

Many airports have upgraded their scanning equipment, including cameras with new facial recognition technology.

Photos are not required and travelers will not lose their place in line for requesting ID verification the old fashioned way.

2) Know Your Pew Pew Rules

Travelers entering TSA checkpoint

Sometimes bringing firearms along is required, say if you’re going on a hunting trip. Regardless, you better know the rules if packing heat.

The TSA has reiterated guns are not allowed anywhere inside the security checkpoint (or past it) or on board the aircraft cabin.

All firearms must be packed, unloaded in checked baggage, secured in a hard-sided case, and declared to airline staff upon check-in.

Local law enforcement will be called if these strict rules are not followed.

3) Check TSA’s ‘What Can I Bring’ Tool

Travelers speaking with TSA agent

Again, nobody wants to hold up the line. The goal for everyone involved is to get through as quickly as possible.

Knowing the rules on liquids is paramount for a smooth experience with TSA.

The ‘What Can I Bring’ tool is a valuable feature listed on TSA’s website to answer your questions regarding liquids.

The general rule of thumb is travelers are allowed to carry one quart-size bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, pastes, and creams.

Any of these listed over 3.4 ounces must be in a checked bag.

4) New ID Rules Coming Soon

Long security lines at airport

Summer travelers won’t have to worry too much about this issue just yet, but better late than never, right?

Travelers will soon be required to obtain a REAL ID, or another form of identification that is accepted.

Not taking effect until May 7, 2025, travelers can learn more on TSA’s website.

5) PreCheck Is A Privilege, Not A Right

TSA PreCheck line at airport

Just because you are a PreCheck member doesn’t mean it magically shows up on your ticket.

You must enter your Known Traveler Number (KTN) when booking your reservation. If you forgot, chances are you may be able to add it with your airline rep before going through security.

That being said, as more and more travelers have signed up for PreCheck benefits, it’s a valid question to wonder if it’s worth it.

But it sure is nice not having to strip down or take out liquids, food, or electronics from your luggage.

6) Plan Ahead!

Travelers' belongings at airport security checkpoint

Just like you don’t want to be that person to hold up a line of groggy-eyed travelers, you don’t want to be that person going viral for freaking out after missing your flight.

Planning ahead is key to a successful trip. Sure, nobody wants to pay the inflated prices to hang out at an airport Starbucks, but an $8 coffee beats doubling down on airfare.

TSA doesn’t give a specific recommendation, but it’s always best not to tempt fate – the earlier, the better.

7) Don’t Be A Jerk

View of security in an airport

It may be tempting to mouth off to a TSA agent bossing you around, but we all have to realize this is a tough job, and their objective is to keep us all safe.

Let’s not forget why TSA was created in the first place…

They may seem irritable, grouchy, and unpleasant, but if travelers don’t keep their cool, it only causes more delays.

Just try to daydream about the vacation you’re about to embark on.

8) TSA Is Here To Help

TSA agent at airport

While it’s important to remain tight-lipped while going through airport checkpoints, TSA is all ears otherwise.

The agency welcomes traveler’s questions and can be contacted in a variety of ways:

  • Text 275-872 (“AskTSA”)
  • @AskTSA on Facebook Messenger or X
  • TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673
  • TSA Passenger Support Specialist at 855-787-2227 (special assistance)

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