TSA: Preparedness key for smooth holiday travel

Posted at 11:13 PM, Nov 23, 2021

ROMULUS, Mich. (WXYZ) — This week Tuesday, Wednesday and the Sunday after Thanksgiving mark the busiest days for travel during this holiday, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

TSA said it anticipates screening 20 million passengers over the 10-day period surrounding Thanksgiving. The agency says that’s close to pre-pandemic levels.

TSA says staffing is not an issue. Also, the agency says 90% of TSA employees are vaccinated. Travelers do not have to show proof of vaccination.

"I think I beat the rush hour a little bit. Ya know, you got the morning crowd, you got the midday crowd and you got the afternoon late.. the evening crowd. Then you got the last-minute crowd,” traveler Marvin Church said.

“If you move smart, you can get there,” he added.

Whichever crowd travelers are a part of, the TSA says to come prepared.

"Sanitizer and masks… that's about it,” Alexis Tartaro suggested travelers bring.

Traveler Yuhan said, "I would recommend to have more rest.”

TSA Federal Security Director Steve Lorincz says cooperation is certainly needed, and that starts with following the mask mandate on airport property.

"We're seeing unruly behavior on the rise. So, we want to make sure that we're working and communicating effectively but also understanding that there's mandates,” Lorincz said. "There's been a lot of changes during the COVID pandemic.”

Lorincz says there are more acrylic barriers to separate employees and customers.

There’s also a touchless process where passengers insert their own ID into the scanner.

As for luggage, he said less clutter means the screening process moves quicker.

"People during the holidays carry food items. So anything liquid and jells and things like that, like gravies and cranberry sauce and preserves, we ask them to pack that in their checked luggage. Right? So you can bring baked goods to the check point," Lorincz said.

He says be mindful of the rules on firearms to avoid criminal and civil penalties. Just this week, a weapon discharged in Atlanta’s airport.

"So one of the things that we ask people is to make sure you check with the airlines. There's very specific requirements on how you pack a firearm, how you secure a firearm and how you secure it in checked luggage,” Lorincz said.

Lorincz says the mask mandate is in effect through Jan. 18.