Going through airport security is ALWAYS a unique experience.
Personally, it’s one of my least favorite aspects about traveling. I have no problem with TSA keeping the public safe (well, at least, ATTEMPTING to keep the public safe. They did fail to stop inspectors from smuggling weapons or explosive materials through screening 95% of the time, but that’s a different blog), but because of the entire process. It’s so exhausting!
THE NEW PROCESS
Well, TSA has just announced they are “prepared for summer travelers with updated security procedures.”
In response to COVID-19, TSA says in the recent press release, these procedures will be rolling nationwide by mid-June which means things could look very different the next time you fly.
Here are 5 ways that TSA is changing the process:
Change #1: Passengers keep their boarding passes
TSA says that instead of handing your boarding pass to a TSA officer, travelers should now place their boarding pass (paper or electronic) on the boarding pass reader themselves.
After the boarding pass is scanned, travelers should hold their boarding pass toward the TSA officer to allow the officer to visually inspect it thus reducing the need for the TSA officer to touch a passenger’s boarding pass and spread germs.
Change #2: Passengers separate food
Passengers should place their carry-on food items into a clear plastic bag and place that bag into a bin which lessens the likelihood that a TSA officer will need to open the carry-on bag and remove the food items for a closer inspection.
It’s worth noting that TSA Precheck members do not need to remove food items from their bags.
Change #3: Passengers pack smart
Passengers are prohibited from having liquids, gels or aerosols in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces in their carry-on bags. Well, TSA is now allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags.
Change #4: Passengers practice social distancing
To encourage proper social distancing, TSA will be placing visual reminders of appropriate spacing on checkpoint floors and staggering the use of lanes where feasible. It’s worth noting that no two airports are alike, so this could look a little different at each airport.
Change #5: Passengers wear facial protection
TSA officers are now required to wear facial protection. Now, travelers are encouraged to wear face protection to the checkpoint as well.
First, handing over your boarding pass is a procedure that I never understood. They were always drawing random circles and writing non-legible “codes” on my paper ticket but it wasn’t required if I had a mobile boarding pass?? Interesting. I hear the stock price of BIC pens going down as we speak.
Second, as a minimalist (and a slightly more germaphobe as each day passes), placing your food inside the bin, even if it is in a clear plastic bag, grosses me out. Those bins give toilet seats a run for their money in how dirty they are but to each their own.
Third change…more sanitizer, great!
Fourth, I support the placement of visual “reminders” on the floor however this only works in theory. If you don’t believe me, go to your local grocery store that has the same placards. I had lady run over the back of my heels with her cart the other week when I went out for my monthly grocery store stock run. Back up pleasssseee!
Finally, everyone should be wearing facial protection at this point if not to protect yourself, to protect others. But this is another aspect that neither the FAA nor TSA can mandate soooo…
What do you think about the new TSA procedures?