Following a record-setting Memorial Day travel weekend, the Independence Day weekend is expected to see 1.25 million more travelers than last year across America. According to AAA’s Independence Day Travel Forecast, 3.44 million people will travel by plane this 4th of July out of the 44.2 million Americans traveling more than 50 miles away from home. Additionally, the forecast reports that this is the eighth consecutive year of air travel grown around Independence Day.
In light of the increase in air travel across America, AAA East Central and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is offering advice and suggestions to make holiday travel a trouble and stress-free occasion.
AAA & TSA Tips for Air Travelers
- Arrive Early. Arrive at the airport at least two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights. This is the recommendation for “normal” conditions. If you’re traveling during peak times, you should plan to arrive to the airport earlier.
- Apply for a Trusted Traveler program, such as TSA Pre✓®, Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI. These programs help improve security and reduce checkpoint lines.
- Follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces or less and all of those containers must fit inside a single quart-size plastic bag and be placed in a bin for carry-on baggage screening.
- Keep medication, valuables and any essentials in your carry-on bag. Anything that you cannot do without for a few days should be in your carry-on in the event that you are separated from your luggage.
- Prepare for security. Have an acceptable ID and boarding pass in your hand and ready to show the ticket document checker. Remove large electronics, including laptops and the 3-1-1 compliant liquids bag, from carry-on baggage and place them in a bin. Avoid over packing your carry-on bag. Consider checking bags vs. carry-on where feasible.
- If you’ve checked bags, go immediately to the baggage claim once you’ve gotten off your plane. Bags are particularly vulnerable to theft on baggage carousels, so collect your bag as soon as possible. Never let your bag out of your sight or agree to watch a stranger’s bag.
- Consider the full cost of airline travel before booking your ticket. Most airlines charge extra for checked bags and on-board food and beverages. Some airlines that have lower base fees also charge for seat selections, early boarding privileges and carry-on bags. Book with a AAA Travel Agent who will help you search for the lowest air fares and reserve flights, save on luggage, popular destinations and exclusive AAA Tour Vacations, and find last-minute deals and discounts when planning trips.
- Avoid jet lag. Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol, caffeinated beverages and salty foods. Also, try to get a jump on the time zone. If you can gradually adjust your sleep and eating schedule to your destination’s time zone, it can make a big difference.
- Call TSA Cares. Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and medical conditions may call the TSA Cares helpline toll free at 1-855-787-2227 with any questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. It is recommended to call at least 72 hours prior to traveling.
- Be Vigilant. TSA counts on the traveling public to report unattended bags or packages; individuals in possession of a threatening item; and persons trying to enter a restricted area or similar suspicious activities at airports, train stations, bus stops and ports. If You See Something, Say Something™. Report suspicious activity to local law enforcement.
AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 81 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members. Past news releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
For More Information, Contact:
Jim Garrity, Public & Community Relations Manager
Desk: 412-365-7274 / Cell: 412-905-9021 / Email: Garrity.James@aaaec.com