TSA travel tips: Airport officials remind passengers on protocols to get through security | Local


The summer traveling season is just around the corner, and representatives from the Transportation Security Administration at Rapid City Regional Airport want to bring a few reminders to passengers before boarding flights.

TSA regional spokesperson Jessica Mayle visited the airport Tuesday to show some of the items that passengers may have forgotten were prohibited in their carry-on luggage. The items, ranging from small knives, corkscrews, power tools, a souvenir baseball bat and even a fold-up camping shovel, were all surrendered to TSA officers in Rapid City.

“We just want to remind people to pack smart, take a few extra minutes while you’re packing to make sure you’re not bringing anything that’s going to get stopped at the checkpoint,” Mayle said. “It just saves you from having to make that decision at the checkpoint. We don’t confiscate items, but people do abandon them because they want to make their flight.”

Mayle said it’s a good idea to double check your carry-on as you pack, and any items that could be abandoned at the TSA checkpoint can either be removed at home, or put into checked luggage.

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“You can tell some of these items are nice souvenirs with names engraved and all,” she said as she points to the items on the table. “You know that these items might mean something to the traveler, so, just be smart. Don’t bring it (through security) and then you’re not in a position where you have to make that decision.”

Mayle also said travelers need to be aware of the 3.4 ounce rule for liquids, gels and aerosols.

“Those are going to need to go in your checked bag. Things like bottles of water, shampoo, sunscreen — any of those types of items,” she said. “You don’t want to abandon that full bottle of shampoo at the checkpoint. Just put it in your checked bag and then you won’t have to make that decision.”

She said there are some exceptions to the liquid rule that can be brought in a carry-on.

“There are some things that don’t have to adhere to the 3.4 ounce limitation, like baby food formula, breast milk, items that have a medical purpose and hand sanitizer,” Mayle said.

She said all a traveler needs to do is declare to the TSA officer that they have the approved liquid with them. The passenger will go through a separate screening procedure, Mayle said.

The TSA also has a website that allows users to find out if an item is allowed through security.

“You literally just type in the name of the item and the website will tell you what can go in your checked bag and what can go in your carry-on,” Mayle said.

The TSA also recommends travelers get to the security screening area at least two hours before boarding a flight, even at smaller airports like Rapid City. Mayle said a traveler may be unaware of several people boarding flights at the same time, which can cause a back-up at the checkpoint.

Mayle said TSA offers the PreCheck program, which costs $85 for a five year plan. PreCheck is an expedited screening process.

“You don’t have to take your shoes off, your light jacket off, and you don’t have to take your liquids out,” she said. “At an airport like Rapid City, the lines are frequently not that long, but TSA PreCheck is a program you can use at any airport that might be busier with longer lines.”

Mayle said across the country, 95% of TSA PreCheck passengers wait less than five minutes at every airport access.

She said another good rule of thumb to to come to the airport and be pleasant to everyone.

“Try not to come in with a lot of stress, and again, giving yourself extra time is a big way to not feel stressed,” Mayle said. “TSA officers have a really important mission and it is also a high-stress job… They are trying to do their job the best that they can. So, just giving them a little bit of respect and kindness, I think, will help you get to your destination more safely.”

Contact Nathan Thompson at nathan.thompson@rapidcityjournal.com.

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