TSA gives travel tips ahead of peak Thanksgiving travel days

TSA gives travel tips ahead of peak Thanksgiving travel days

TSA gives travel tips ahead of peak Thanksgiving travel days

Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, members of the Transportation Security Administration are hoping they can provide some helpful tips for those flying to visit family and friends.

Members of the TSA at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport offered those tips during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Marty Robinson, the TSA Federal Security Director suggests planning ahead, coming early and making sure there are no prohibited items in your bags. 

RELATED: Some Minnesotans are flying out early this holiday week to avoid possible record-breaking crowds

“Last year there were over 6,000 handguns stopped at checkpoints. We’re on par to break that number this year,” Robinson said. 

Robinson says for $75 a year, travelers can sign up for the TSA PreCheck program which expedites traveler screening through security checkpoints. There would be no need to remove shoes, belts, 3-1-1 liquids, laptops or light jackets. 

MSP Airport spokesperson Jeff Lea says prime time for departure is in the early hours from 4 to 8 a.m. To reduce traffic congestion, MSP recently added an additional cell phone waiting lot on Post Road so drivers don’t have to keep going in circles while waiting for their passengers. 

RELATED: Record crowds are expected to take to the air and roads for Thanksgiving

“It gives us 140 spaces this year than just 40 spaces a couple weeks ago,” Lea said. “It’s a public safety, trying to reduce congestion on roadways to get traffic moving.” 

Lea notes that drivers can also use either upper or lower roads to drop off or pick up passengers. 

AAA estimates 55.4 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home between Wednesday and Sunday.