Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, Dr. Anne Schuchat of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC)and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Acting Administrator Gale Rossides on Thursday jointly issued these steps travelers can take to prevent the spread of the flu.
“Following these simple travel tips will help expedite the screening process at airports and keep travelers healthy and safe throughout the holiday travel season,” Napolitano said in a statement.
TSA Travel Tips
TSA’s holiday travel tips will help decrease the amount of time passengers spend in line at airport security checkpoints, increase the overall efficiency of airport operations and enhance security by engaging passengers in the shared responsibility of watching out for suspicious activity at airports across the nation.
Pay attention to your health before traveling
The best way to prevent the spread of the flu is to stay home if you’re sick or have flu-like symptoms.
The CDC recommends you get both H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines.
Practice good hygiene while traveling
Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
Wash your hands regularly to help prevent the spread of germs and illness.
Ensure your government-issued ID and boarding pass are out and ready
Getting all travel documents together and ready before you get in line will help security officers quickly verify that you, your identification, and your boarding pass match and are valid.
Wear easily removable shoes and jackets
Wearing footwear that can be easily removed helps speed the process for X-ray screening. Be prepared to remove all shoes, jackets and other outerwear for screening.
Take out liquids and laptops
Remember the 3-1-1 rule for liquids, gels and aerosols at the checkpoint:
3-ounce bottles or less for all liquids, gels and aerosols;
1 quart-sized, clear, plastic zip-top bag; and
1 bag per passenger placed separately in a security bin for X-ray screening.
The liquid restriction applies only to carry-on bags. Passengers can pack larger quantities of liquids and gels in checked baggage.
Be prepared to remove your laptop from its case and place it in separate bin for X-ray screening.
Use TSA Family Lanes if you or your family needs extra time or assistance
Last year, TSA expanded its popular Family Lanes to every security checkpoint in the United States.
Family Lanes allow infrequent travelers, those with small children or passengers who need additional assistance to move through security at their own pace.Officers in these lanes work with passengers to screen medically necessary items like baby formula and insulin.
Keep an eye out for suspicious activity
Transportation security is a shared responsibility. The traveling public plays an important role in keeping holiday travel safe.
Travelers should report all suspicious activities or items to airport security personnel.
Remember TSA’s new Secure Flight program when booking new airline tickets
Fulfilling a key 9/11 Commission recommendation, TSA is working with airlines to implement Secure Flight.
Secure Flight pre-screens passenger name, date of birth and gender against government watch lists for domestic and international flights—making travel safer and easier by keeping known or suspected terrorists from obtaining a boarding pass.
In addition, Secure Flight helps prevent the misidentification of passengers who have names similar to individuals on government watch lists.
When booking airline tickets, use your name as it appears on the government ID you plan to use when traveling—along with your date of birth and gender. Providing this information will clear 99 percent of travelers to print boarding passes at home.
Airlines are phasing in this program; if you are not prompted for this information when booking travel or if there are small variations between your name and your reservation, don’t worry—you will still be able to travel.
For more information on these and other helpful travel tips, visit the TSA's Web site here.