By Debbie Smith, Deputy Director-Security, Rogue Valley International Airport
It’s the holiday season! We continue to break records, as we have the past 24 months, at the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport. To keep your holiday spirit festive this busy travel season, especially if you’re traveling by air, here are a few tips to keep your spirits merry and bright.
Tip #1 Check in early for your flight – With the ease of internet, and even more so mobile apps, it is recommended passengers check in 24 hours in advance for domestic flights. This not only lets the air carrier know you will be present for that flight, it saves time when arriving at the airport.
Tip #2 Go through your bag – Before you even begin to pack your bag, go through it first to see if anything has been left in it from a previous trip, especially if it has been used for a recent hunting or fishing trip. Everyday across the U.S., guns, knives and other prohibited items are found in carry-on bags at checkpoints. This is not a discovery you want to make while going through the TSA Checkpoint. (For a detailed list of prohibited items, visit www.TSA.gov)
Tip #3 Refrain from wrapping – You won’t miss a beat if you wrap those gifts after you get to your destination. Regardless if the gift is in your carry-on or checked bag – if that special something requires additional screening, it will end up getting unwrapped, and not by the potential gift recipient. And, if you plan on taking jams, jellies and/or sauces, it is best to put these items in your checked bag, as they will not be permitted through the TSA Checkpoint, unless under 3.4 ounces.
Tip #4 Get to the airport early – It is estimated one million passengers will travel through the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport this year! With the increase in travelers, wait times at the ticket counters and the security checkpoint have increased as well. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport and through the security process. Nothing generates anxiety like being late for a flight then running into a wall of people who are standing in line at the ticket counter or at the screening checkpoint. Having a little buffer of time can reduce the stress and keep your holiday cheer intact. We recommend arriving two hours prior to your boarding time.
Tip #5 Have boarding pass and ID ready – To get the security screening process off to a smooth start, when approaching the TSA Ticket Document Checker have your boarding pass in hand and your valid ID ready to go. Once these items have been checked, put them away for safe keeping.
Tip #6 Use the bins at the Security Checkpoint to keep things organized – TSA has enhanced security measures, which may add a few minutes to the screening process. To make the security process flow more smoothly:
- All liquids going through the checkpoint must not be larger than 3.4 ounces and must fit in a quart sized bag. Remove these items from carry-on and place in a bin.
- Shoes must be in a bin by themselves, or placed directly on the conveyor belt (Nothing on top of, or below shoes.)
- If wearing a hat, belt, coat, sweatshirt and/or scarf remove it and place in bin.
- All electronics must be removed from carry-on and placed in bin(s): *Cell phones *Lap tops *Tablets *Kindles *Video game consoles
While this is not an all inclusive list, these six tips will help keep the humbug out of holiday travel.
SAFE TRAVELS EVERYONE!