TSA: Save time at checkpoints by following the rules
Agents from the Transportation Security Administration said taking a few small steps can save you a lot of hassle this holiday season.
TSA’s upstate New York Federal Security Director Bart Johnson said it’s a good idea to start packing for your trip by completely emptying your bag. He said he’s seen people unintentionally show up with knives, brass knuckles, pepper spray, and even loaded handguns.
"(People bringing loaded handguns) has happened at this airport,” he said during a safety demonstration at Syracuse's Hancock Airport. “It's totally unacceptable. It's irresponsible, and it puts everybody in the traveling public in a great deal of danger, and literally, they have to shut down the checkpoint."
Johnson also advises travelers to remember: any liquids, gels, aerosols, or spreadables larger than 3.4 oz. must be packed in checked luggage.
"It's very disruptive because it sets off an alarm because they believe it could be an explosive, so they have to pull the bag, search the bag, only to find out that it's water," Johnson said.
TSA Officer Brandon Leggiero said if you’re bringing gifts, consider using boxes or bags instead of wrapping paper.
"If there is an alarm through our X-ray machine, we will need to cut open your wrapping and open up your gift,” Leggiero said.
Because of recent growth at the airport, the TSA has added a sixth lane at Hancock to help screenings run more efficiently. But they’re still asking everyone to arrive two hours ahead of their flights to give themselves plenty of time.
“That immediately lowers the stress level because you know you’re going to make it through,” said Johnson. “You’re not rushing. You’re not forgetting anything, so do these officers a favor and get there two hours ahead of time.