Airport Safety & Security

Whether you’re flying for business or pleasure in 2021, you can be confident that airports across the country have taken steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially at crowded security checkpoints.

When you get to the checkpoint, you’ll find signs and floor markings to help you keep an appropriate distance from the people in front and behind. The Transportation Security Administration has put up barriers to reduce contact between employees and the public, and is enhancing the cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces. Be prepared to place your boarding pass on the document scanner yourself, and then show it to a TSA officer for a visual inspection. You’ll be asked to adjust your mask for ID verification.

The TSA has pledged to open addition security lanes when possible, in order to reduce the amount of time that you have to spend in line. TSA officers are required to wear masks and gloves. They must put on a new pair of gloves following each pat-down, as well as upon passenger request. The agency also recommends that all passengers wash their hands before and after going through security, or use hand sanitizer if that’s not possible.

The 3-1-1 rule normally allows each passenger to carry liquids, gels and aerosols in travel-size containers that are no bigger than 3.4 ounces. Each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag. As a temporary exemption from the rule, the TSA is allowing passengers to carry one oversized liquid container of hand sanitizer, up to 12 ounces, in a carry-on bag. Since these containers exceed the standard size allowed through a security checkpoint, they will need to be screened separately. Therefore, this will add some time to the process. All other items will continue to be limited to 3.4 ounces in a one-quart bag.

If your driver’s license or state-issued ID expired on or after March 1, 2020, and you are unable to renew it, you can still use it as acceptable identification at the security checkpoint. The TSA will accept identification a year after the expiration date.

Travel Leaders’ parent company is also taking part in efforts to improve airline and cross-border safety.

A new international initiative, CommonPass, will give officials the ability to verify the health status of travelers, while maintaining strict privacy standards. When fully implemented, travelers and government officials alike will know that everyone on their flight has been tested with the same standard.

Executives from Travel Leaders’ parent company were among those who participated in a trial of the system in October, on a flight from London to Newark, N.J. They report that the process was easy, quick and efficient. Prior to departure, passengers participating in the test downloaded the CommonPass app. At the airport, they answered screening questions and took a COVID-19 test. A negative test result generated a digital health pass that enabled them to board the flight.

For help navigating any travel plans, contact one of our expert Travel Advisors.

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