Holiday Travel – The Latest from TSA

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holiday travel

Holiday travel during the holidays can be tough, but knowing what TSA expects of you will help. The TSA website, is a great resource for information on how to avoid delays at the security checkpoint.

Our first suggestion is a given no matter what:  Plan to arrive early so that there’s plenty of time for security screenings.  

What if I have mobility issues?

If you have mobility issues, keep in mind that you can call the TSA Cares help line 72 hours before your flight and have someone from TSA there to assist you once you arrive at the checkpoint. The number is 855-787-2227.

Another important point: Even after you’ve arrived at security, you can always request to speak with a supervisor or ask for a private screening.  

What if I Use Mobility Aids?

If you use mobility aids, you know that they are items such as:

  • wheelchairs
  • scooters
  • crutches and
  • canes

If you’re able to raise your hands above your head and can walk without assistance, it’s likely you’ll be asked to submit to advanced imaging technology or a walk-through metal detector. If you can’t stand on your own, or choose not to be screened using these techniques, you will require a pat-down. A pat-down is also necessary if you trigger an alarm during screening.  

Shoes are subject to screening, as are crutches and canes. If you’re unable to remove your shoes, additional screening will be required for them as well. Wheelchairs and scooters, including cushions, can be checked even while occupied, and certain removable portions will undergo x-ray screening.

Still have mobility aid concerns?

  • Contact the TSA Cares helpline at 855-787-2227
  • Click here for a video on TSA and mobility
  • For TSA’s frequently asked questions, click here

What about “Real ID” on Domestic Flights?

In 2005 Congress passed the Real ID act mandating that states establish minimum standards to help ensure secure issuing of driver’s licenses and ID cards. In short, the Real ID act is intended to stop the use of fake IDs by making faking harder to do.

Right now, every state in the US is either compliant or has been issued an extension, meaning you will not have any Real ID issues during the 2018 holiday season. However, the federal government will not accept non-compliant licenses as ID beginning October 1, 2020.  

Passports and passport cards continue to pass muster as acceptable forms of ID, as do “Global Entry” and other cards known as “trusted traveler cards.”

Children under 18 years of age still do not require identification provided their companion has appropriate ID. If you plan to send your child on a flight as an unaccompanied minor, check with the airline to make sure you understand the requirements.

For more on Real IDs click here.

Don’t Forget…

An Emergency Medical Plan is a great investment, especially if you are traveling multiple times in one year or are traveling overseas. If you get sick or injured, the cost of out of pocket medical transportation can be as much at $100k. For less than the cost of a plane ticket your whole family can be covered.

Don’t have a plan? GET A PLAN

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