TSA's precheck screening speeds up holiday travel

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The holidays are officially here and that means traveling near and far to visit family and friends.

Jacksonville International Airport and the Transportation Security Administration held a news conference Monday to remind flyers of how to be prepared for airport security during the busiest time of the year.

If you've been through airport security recently, you know you have to take off your shoes and take your laptop out of its case. With the new precheck screening, you don't have to do any of those things but simply walk through an X-ray machine, saving you time and making your airport travel experience less stressful.

Always check with your airline before you leave the house to make sure your flight isn't delayed. That's just one of many reminders JIA's Michael Stewart has for holiday travelers.

"The weather may be great here in Jacksonville, but where your plane is coming from might not have the same wonderful weather, and there may be delays not associated with your destination or origin airport," Stewart said.

Another suggestion is to try the TSA's new precheck screening process, which is now available at more than 100 airports nationwide.

The program allows pre-approved airline travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and 3-1-1-compliant liquids and gels bag in their carry-on bags.

"We have many many passengers who get here and find items in their bag that are prohibited that they had no idea were in their bag," said Ed Goodwin, TSA federal security director. "God forbid, especially a firearm that people keep in a closet in a bag, things like that. My advice is to please, please check your bag prior to packing it."

Frequent fliers are excited about this new, quick way to go through airport security at JIA just in time for the holidays.

"I always put on flip flops when I go through so I don't have to take off my boots or shoes or belts. It will be great," Terry Swartz said.

Passengers who are eligible for TSA precheck are U.S. citizens who are members of frequent traveler programs or of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection travelers program. Other citizens who aren't in either of those may be eligible without applying. An indicator will be embedded in their ticket bar code so they will find out when they check in.

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