TSA Urges Students to Fly Smart During Spring Break

WASHINGTON, March 13 /PRNewswire/ — Heavy traffic at Wichita Mid- Continent Airport is expected over the next few weeks as students of all ages and their families head into spring break weeks around the nation. To ensure a smooth trip, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is urging travelers to “pack smart” and follow all security guidelines.

“Spring break is a great opportunity for students and families to get away and enjoy all our country has to offer — from beaches to mountains and everywhere in between,” said Keith Osborn, TSA Federal Security Director at Wichita. “We are prepared to handle the crowds, but I ask the traveling public to follow a few simple steps to assist us in getting you through the checkpoints as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

Osborn recommends travelers check out TSA’s travel tips on the Web at http://www.tsa.gov/. Highlights include:

Leave Lighters at Home. In April 2005, TSA banned all lighters from sterile areas (beyond security checkpoints) of airports and on aircraft. Lighters are not allowed in either carry-on or checked baggage, although passengers may carry up to four books of matches onto an airplane. This includes, for example, butane, absorbed-fuel (Zippo-type), electric/battery- powered and novelty lighters.

Pack smart. Your trip begins at home. Bringing prohibited items to the airport will cause delays in the screening process for you and other passengers. If you’re not sure which items are prohibited, check TSA’s Web site for a complete list. Beginning last December, scissors with a cutting edge of four inches or less and tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches and pliers smaller than seven inches have been permitted on board. Scissors longer than four inches and tools such as crowbars, drills, hammers, and saws continue to be prohibited from carry-on bags.

To lock … or not. Screeners may have to open your bag during the screening process. If your bag is locked and TSA cannot open it through other means, the locks may have to be broken. TSA is not liable for damage caused to locked bags that must be opened for security purposes.

TSA suggests that you help prevent the need to break your locks by using a TSA-recognized locking mechanism. These “special” locks can be opened by TSA using tools provided to us by participating industry members and can be purchased at multiple retail outlets.

Arrive on time. Arrival time recommendations vary by airline and day of travel, so check with your carrier. You must have a boarding pass and valid government photo ID to enter the checkpoint. Remember to give yourself adequate time to check your baggage and move through security.

Dress the part. Metal in your clothing or your shoes may set off the walk-through metal detector. Avoid wearing metal in or on your clothing. Pack coins, keys, jewelry, belt buckles and other metal items in your carry-on bag. TSA strongly encourages passengers to remove their shoes before going through the metal detectors.

Passengers will also need to remove blazers, suit coats and bulky sweaters in addition to outer garments. Sport coats and warm-up jackets should also be taken off and placed in the bins for X-ray.

Carry-ons. You may carry-on your laptop, but it must be removed from its case to pass through screening.

In addition to one carry-on and one personal item, you may have a musical instrument or a photographic bag if it contains only photographic equipment. Check your air carrier’s policies to assure they will accommodate these extra items once you arrive at the gate.

Film should go in your carry-on bag. Film faster than 800-speed can be handed to a screener for physical inspection to avoid being X-rayed.

Think. Belligerent behavior, inappropriate jokes and threats will not be tolerated. Such incidents will result in delays and possibly missing your flight. Local law enforcement may be called as necessary.

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