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TSA warning of Summer Season Travel with “Enhanced Screening” rollout

For those travelers who travel frequently or the hundreds of families who take yearly vacations, you might have noticed that security lines have been longer throughout the last couple of years.

TSA security screening improvements

If you have you aren’t alone as we had laptop bans to mobile phones scares in addition to the deficient scores from the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security. Results have been published noting the deficiencies at the time of inspecting people through the checking.

And who can forget the famous red team assessment which “identifies with vulnerabilities with the TSA screener performance, equipment and procedures?”

Well according to Sari Koshetz (the TSA Spokeswoman in Orlando) enhanced security is here to improve the security process which as she states:

“enhanced security refers to passengers having to place anything larger than a cell phone into a bin.”

It is part of the security improvement procedure over at Orlando International Airport which is slowly rolling out.

Orlando International Airport (MCO)

The official website of (my airport) Orlando International Airport (MCO) is advising travelers to allow even more time than usual to catch their flights. They are recommending passengers devote two hours after arriving at the airport to go through ticketing, move through the security checkpoint, and get to one’s gate.

While for some people this might not “apply,” some people have been able to make it in less time (my step-dad is exhibit #1). Leaving at the last minute doesn’t serve anyone interest, and it can leave you stressed before going on a vacation or a business meeting, and your plane might not be at the gate.

Officials at the Orlando International Airport (MCO) recommend that airline passengers get a fruitful experience to arrive at least two hours on domestic flights and three hours for an international trip. This is to ensure that people don’t miss their flight. To ensure this, they issued a Tweet.

How to help expedite your TSA screening

If you are not in TSA Precheck, many people should not be surprised about what I’m going to ask so that your experience goes more smoothly, and it applies nationwide not only to Orlando International Airport as this rolls nationwide throughout this year.

This will help you expedite your screening.

•    Dispose of liquids before entering the security screening lines.

TSA enhanced screening
Photo Courtesy of Stan Honda/Getty Images

•    Place all electronics (larger than a mobile phone) in separate bins for screening (it is not acceptable now placing it with metal items in your pockets at least)

•    Empty your pockets and place any metal items into the bins (separate them from your electronics)

TSA Precheck

TSA Pre check logo

There are alternatives to this. There is the TSA Precheck program which offers expedited screening on domestic and international outbound flights which cost $85 for 5 years.

Global Entry

Global Entry program USA

If you travel internationally (like me at least twice a year), Global Entry then it is for you at the same timeframe (5 years) at $100 and you can utilize it when you return back to the United States.

Additionally, TSA Precheck comes included with Global Entry, so why pay $85 when you can pay a $100 for international travel and get in and out like a rock star?

Also, there are several cards which pay you for the application (Global Entry) which I’ll give all the applicable cards in a future article.

I personally have Global Entry, and it rocks!

Nexus

If you enter the United States from Canada there is the Nexus Program which costs $50.

Nexus program USA

Sentri

Lastly, there is the Sentri Program which covers entry from Canada and Mexico at $122.50.

Sentri program USA

The government’s revamped webpage provides more details!

You can find out more about these programs at the revamped webpage of the Customs Border Protection Trusted Traveler Program here.

Clear

Do you want to skip the lines at airports but also in sports stadiums nationwide?

Then the ultimate experience is with Clear!

However, if the market where you live is a mid-sized market, then your stadium might not accept Clear. Stadiums which do not accept Clear include like Tropicana Stadium in St. Petersburg, Amalie Arena in Tampa, Amway Center in Orlando and Camping World Stadium also in Orlando.

However, if you are like in Miami or NYC, then chances are they would accept Clear. The cost is higher at $179 per year (or $15 per month), and you could add up to three family members for an additional $50 per year.

You can find more information on the Clear program here.

The busy summer travel season is approaching

As we say Spring Break goodbye and say hello to the busy summer travel season, people are going to flying in and out across the country mostly for vacations.

TSA agents working
Photo Courtesy of TSA

If you want to ensure you don’t miss your flight, you would want to give yourself excess time to be on the safe side and get a significant dose of patience when going to the airport.

What do you think about the programs available to you, designed to make your travel more convenient? You can leave your comments below.

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Featured Photo Courtesy: TSA

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