TSA Policies and things to consider before your next trip to the Airport
The coming of the month of July can mean many things for all of us. Whether it be the time for exciting vacations, cold ice cream cones, or basking in the summer sun, July is the one month that’s meant for relaxation and fun.
July is also the month that celebrates our nation’s birth. With crackling fireworks, deliciously smoked barbecues and more, the Fourth of July is a holiday that can be enjoyed by the entire family.
Getting together inevitably means that traveling will be involved. Luckily, there are plenty of airports that serve the Phoenix area including Sky Harbor, Mesa Gateway, and Scottsdale Airpark.
To make sure your transportation needs are as streamlined and easy as possible, we take a look at things to consider when it comes to the TSA.
TSA Screening and Checkpoints
These last few weeks hit a new high for traveling as the TSA just surpassed the 2 million threshold count for passengers screened in one day. The last time that milestone was hit took place over a year ago back in March 2020. With such a high boost in traveling, you’re going to want to know the most recent screening measures so that you’re not held up in crowds later down the line. At the end of the day, you should prioritize arriving at the airport early so that you won’t break a sweat about potentially missing your flight. Thanks to the crowds, staffing changes, and safety measures, you’ll be guaranteed to have a slightly longer pre-flight experience than normal.
Consult the List
Just over Memorial Day weekend, the TSA had more travelers coming in than ever before since pre-pandemic times. Inevitably, that also means you can expect more prohibited items to make the list. Before you start packing, make sure to view the list of allowable items so that your bags don’t get probed by an officer.
Leave the Used COVID Tests Behind
If you’ve already swabbed your nose with a kit or collected your spit, leave those tests behind. You’re more than welcome to bring your own unused kits onto your carry-on baggage instead.
What to Remove at Checkpoint
Just as usual, you’ll have to take off your shoes, take out your electronics, foods, and hand sanitizers. Don’t forget that any liquids, aerosols, and gels you bring should be less than 3.4 ounces and packaged in a clear 1-quart plastic bag. If you want to bring any larger, go ahead and package them in your checked luggage.
Faster Screening Process
To speed through those crowds and maximize your convenience, try to apply for the PreCheck Program. This allows you to be prescreened so you don’t have to deal with slipping off your shoes or taking out any electronics, liquids, or foods. Got a medical condition or need some extra assistance? By contacting the Passenger Support Program at least 72 hours in advance of your flight, you can get the help you need for an effortless screening process.
Just recently, you might have heard Arizona Governor Doug Ducey had lifted mask mandates on the state, county, and city level. Although it seems like normal life is fully resuming, it’s important to note that the federal mask mandate is still firmly in place. This goes for other forms of public transportation as well.
The good news, however is you no longer have to present a negative COVID test if you’re fully vaccinated. If you’re not quite there yet, you can obtain an on-site COVID test in Terminal 4 at Sky Harbor with XpresCheck. For Phx-Mesa Gateway, visit the drive-thru vaccination site at Dexcom’s distribution center.
Upcoming TSA Policy Changes
One of the biggest ones revolves around REAL ID. Beginning in May 3, 2023, every air traveler 18 years or older will need to present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued driver’s license, or another acceptable form of ID to pass a checkpoint and fly within the United States. Even though that requirement won’t be enforced till later, it doesn’t hurt to get a head start.
The best way to ensure your ID fits the bill is to check if it has a star marked at the top of the card. For more information on how to obtain a REAL ID compliant card in Arizona, you can visit the Arizona DOT website.
In need of Airport Transportation?
Luckily, All Valley’s airport transportation service is here to help. You will have the most comfortable private riding experience to and from any of the major Phoenix airports. With our stellar service, you can rest assured that you’ll always arrive on time without having to lug all that luggage around by yourself. Don’t hesitate to give us a call 602.302.6868 about making your July travel plans the most convenient yet.
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