Posts

How to Fly Right During This Holiday Season

If you have not traveled much this year due to the pandemic, Huntsville International Airport is sharing its “Tips for Air Travel” during the holidays. Vacationers and business travelers will find this advice helpful as well, for cruising through security, passing through the ticketing process, and securely boarding the aircraft.

According to representatives from the Transportation Safety Administration and HSV, travelers can expect to see security officers throughout the terminal wearing face masks and disposable gloves they can discard after pat-downs, while many will also wear eye protection or face shields. 

Travelers can expect less physical contact at each step of the process.

Acrylic barriers have been installed at the terminal to limit exposure between airport personnel, security officers, and travelers during the issuance of your boarding pass and showing an ID. You will notice social distancing leading up to and into the security checkpoint environment; and surfaces in the security checkpoint area are frequently and intensely cleaned and disinfected.

The following procedures will make air travel much faster and less invasive as you travel this holiday season:

  1. Pack Smart! Pack only essential items and avoid packing prohibited items in carry-on bags. Pack liquids, gels and aerosols in small containers and place them in a plastic bag. Pack keys, loose change, wallets, lip balm, tissues, and cellphones into carry-on bags before entering security checkpoints to avoid having to put them into bins.
  2. Follow Universal CDC Guidelines. Wear a mask. Always keep a supply of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. Bring a photo ID.
  3. Enroll in TSA PreCheck. TSA Precheck expedites the screening process and reduces touchpoints. Enrollees do not have to remove their shoes, belts, lightweight jackets, electronics, or their bag of travel-size liquids and gels. Click here to Apply for TSA Precheck.
  4. Do Not Wrap Christmas Gifts. Pack gifts without giftwrapping them so that if they trigger an alarm, they will not have to be unwrapped for examination. Gift bags, gift boxes or decorative bows are easy alternatives.
  5. Download the FREE myTSA app. It is the traveler’s best friend and a trusted source for last-minute travel questions. It provides passengers with 24/7 access to the most frequently asked airport security information, and has a helpful tip for preparing for security, including a searchable “Can I Bring” database. The app also keeps travelers up to date on flight delays and provides directions to TSA PreCheck lanes at any airport terminal. The app is available on iTunes or Google Play. 
  6. Properly Prepare Food Items for Travel. As a rule, if you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it, or pour it – pack it in a checked bag. Cakes, pies, cookies, and casseroles can travel in carry-on luggage.

If you need to know what items should go in a carry-on bag, or if you have last-minute questions, send them to @AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger

Helpful travel tips are posted regularly at @TSA and @TSA_Gulf on Twitter. For localized travel information, visit FlyHuntsville.com.

(Photos courtesy of Huntsville International and the TSA)

Huntsville International Airport Implements Cutting-edge Scanner Technology

No, it does not teleport you directly from the security checkpoint onto the airplane … maybe one day.

The CT scanner employs an algorithm to analyze the contents of each bag. (Photo/Huntsville International Airport)

But Huntsville International Airport’s state-of-the-art Computed Tomography scanner streamlines the screening process and reduces the number of touchpoints at the security checkpoint.

With the CT scanner, travelers will not need to remove electronics, food, or travel-size liquids from their carry-on luggage. This, in turn, reduces the number of bags that need to be opened for inspection.

“The CT machine employs a sophisticated algorithm to analyze the contents of each bag,” said Federal Security Director Gail Linkins, “and allows TSA (Transportation Security Administration) officers to rotate the image for a thorough analysis.” 

“One of Huntsville International Airport’s top priorities throughout the pandemic continues to be keeping passengers, tenants and employees safe,” said Rick Tucker, airport CEO. “This is also a priority for our partners across the airport as evidenced by the Transportation Security Administration’s continued efforts to reduce touchpoints.

“HSV is pleased that TSA in Huntsville will now offer this new technology as we all continue to work to provide our region with a facility that continues to improve safety and that our customers can utilize comfortably.”

To take advantage of the benefits offered by the CT scanner, travelers should enroll in the TSA Precheck program. Once enrolled, passengers do not have to remove shoes, belts, lightweight jackets, electronics, or their bag of travel-size liquids and gels. To apply for the program, visit www.tsa.gov/precheck

TSA is extending its “Stay Healthy. Stay Secure.” campaign from the summer. Still in place through the holidays, the campaign focuses on stopping the spread of COVID-19 and reduces the potential for cross-contamination at security checkpoints.