Guide Dog Foundation

 

Travel Tips

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) highlights security procedures ahead of the busy holiday travel period to remind travelers about the steps they can take to be prepared for airport security. 

In order to provide the most effective security in the most efficient way possible, TSA has expanded its TSA Pre program to additional airports and airlines nationwide. TSA Pre✓™ is an expedited screening program that allows pre-approved airline travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on in select screening lanes. TSA Pre✓™ operations are available at more than 100 airports nationwide when flying on a participating carrier. Learn more about TSA Pre✓™ by CLICKING HERE

This summer (2014), the TSA will be implementing a program involving its National Explosives Detection Canine Teams. These dogs and their handlers will be circulating throughout the airport facility to detect explosives. You may encounter one of these teams as you move through the airport. 

The TSA handlers are trained to respect assistance dogs and to announce themselves when they see someone with an assistance dog. The airport cannot post in advance when such teams will be circulating but when teams are "live" in the airport, signage will be posted to alert passengers to their presence. You can ask any airport employee if the teams are working that day in the facility. 
You can also call TSA CARES for assistance at the screening checkpoint. Their number is 855-787-2227. Call no less than 72 hours before your flight for assistance, or ask for a Passenger Support Specialist at the checkpoint for assistance. 

Attention Veterans: The TSA has some special assistance programs for qualified veterans qualified. Please call the TSA CARES number above for more information. Veterans of all eras receive assistance from TSA so please ask when calling and be sure to identify yourself as a veteran.
 

For any issues concerning your guide or service dog, the first place to negotiate any issue involving your disability or your assistance dog is with the ticket agent prior to screening. If this does not resolve the issue, you can discuss it with the gate agent. The flight crew is the next point of discussion. If none of these people can resolve the issue, ask to speak to a Complaint Resolutions Officer (CRO) before your airplane doors close. Each airline has a designated CRO who will assist you. 
You may also call the Air Travelers with Disabilities Hotline at 1-800-778-4838. 

Passenger preparedness can have a significant impact on wait times at security checkpoints nationwide. To alleviate misunderstandings at the security checkpoint, TSA is reminding travelers of the following tips:  

  •  3-1-1 for liquids: Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less and all bottles must fit in 1 quart size plastic bag and placed in a bin for screening. 
  • Gifts: While wrapped gifts are allowed, security officers may need to unwrap a gift to resolve an alarm. TSA recommends passengers wrap gifts after their flight or ship them ahead of time to avoid the possibility of having to open them during the screening process. Small snow globes are allowed in carry-on luggage when packed in a passenger's plastic 3-1-1 bag. 
  • Food: Food items such as pies and cakes are permitted, but may require further inspection. If travelers are not sure if a food item is considered a liquid or gel, it is best to pack the item in checked baggage or ship it to a destination in advance. For more detailed information, visit: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/traveling-food-or-gifts 
  • Children 12 and under and adults 75 and older: TSA has modified the screening procedures for children 12 and under and adults 75 and older. 
  • Check for prohibited items: Travelers can use the “Can I bring my...” app on www.tsa.gov or www.tsa.gov/mobile to check what items are allowed/not allowed in carry-on and checked luggage. Smartphone users can easily download the “My TSA” app to quickly find helpful information about TSA policies and procedures. 
  • Prepare for security: Have a U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID and boarding pass out and remove liquids and large electronics, including laptops, from carry-on baggage. Remember to remove shoes, outerwear, and bulky jewelry and empty pockets. Place valuable items in a carry-on bag. 
  • TSA’s Wounded Warrior Screening program: This program allows expedited screening and curb to gate service for this trusted group of citizens. Wounded warriors or their care coordinators can contact TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 with details of the itinerary once flight arrangements are made with the airline. In addition, at airport checkpoints nationwide, U.S. service personnel in uniform with proper identification, whether traveling on official orders or not, are not required to remove their shoes or boots unless they alarm the technology. 
  • More Travel Tips: Check out TSA’s helpful Traveler Information site for more useful information to help ease the traveling public through security checkpoints. Additional holiday travel tips are available: http://blog.tsa.gov/2013/11/tsa-2013-holiday-travel-tips.html    
For more travel tips or any questions about travel, access or preparing for a large convention or event, please contact us in the Consumer Services Office, 1-866-282-8047 or email Jenine@GuideDog.org

For further questions about TSA procedures and upcoming travel, or to provide feedback or voice concerns, please call the TSA Contact Center (TCC) at 1-866-289-9673.

Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and medical conditions may call the TSA Cares helpline toll free at 1-855-787-2227, 72 hours prior to traveling with any questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.