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The Madison Record
When flying during the holiday season, travelers need to be aware of current rules and prepare early for trips. CONTRIBUTED

Huntsville International Airport recs travelers’ attention during holiday travel

MADISON – The good news is that travel is rebounding after the restrictions that COVID-19 required in 2020. However, with an increase in traffic, the need to monitor your own responsibilities also grows.

During the Thanksgiving holidays, an expected 20 million passengers will travel by air, which returns the volume close to the level before the pandemic, according to the Transportation Safety Administration or TSA.

With increased numbers, travel time will take longer. “With overall vaccination rates improving nationwide and greater confidence in healthy travel, there will be more people traveling, so plan ahead, remain vigilant and practice kindness,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said.

TSA offers several tips for Thanksgiving travelers:

* Wear a mask. – Individuals who travel, TSA personnel and other aviation workers are required to wear a mask because of the federal mask mandate.

* Pack smart. – Remember security procedures when packing and avoid carrying any prohibited items in suitcases. If you can spill it, spray it, spread it, pump it or pour it, then it’s not a solid and should be packed in a checked bag. Passengers can bring solid foods, like cakes and baked goods, through checkpoints.

* Hand sanitizer – Currently, TSA allows one container of liquid hand sanitizer, up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags.

* Request passenger support — Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities, medical conditions or both can call the TSA Cares helpline toll-free at 855-787-2227. Call at least 72 hours before flying.

* Get questions answered before going to the airport. – Ask TSA. Call 866-289-9673 or visit Twitter or Facebook Messenger @AskTSA.

* Ensure you have proper ID. — Identity verification is important in security screening.

* Remain aware. — Travelers are encouraged to report suspicious activities. Also, firearms cannot go through the TSA security checkpoint.

* Misbehaving is expensive — Department of Homeland Security has increased the range of civil penalties for unruly passengers, including violations of federal mask mandate at airports or on commercial aircraft. First offenders will be fined $500 to $1,000 and second offenders up to $3,000.

Huntsville International Airport staff recommend arriving 90 minutes to two hours before flight time. Allow for check-in at the airline counter, checking bags and clearing the TSA checkpoint.

“While air travelers enjoy convenient, shorter security checkpoint lines at HSV than they would experience at larger airports, it’s very important that they allow ample time to get through them,” Barbie Peek said. Peek is Business Development Director for Huntsville International Airport.

For more information, visit flyhuntsville.com.

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