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19/11/2008 – New TSA Public Service Push To Educate Travelers
This morning I received an e-mail from the Ad Council and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regarding the agency’s new “Why?” Campaign. Normally I skip these e-mails, however this was not only addressed to me personally, but the people at the TSA and the Ad Council have clearly read Flying With Fish, so I gave it a read.
Once I finished the e-mail I spent some time speaking with both the Ad Council and the TSA regarding the new campaign, and while I may disagree with a reasoning behind a number of the TSA’s policies, I do see the value in the “Why?” Campaign. Why do I see the value in the “Why?” Campaign? Because at its core it is centered around educating inexperienced flyers navigate the TSA airport security checkpoint process. When passenger are informed and ready they flow more easily through the checkpoint with less stress, more efficiency and this speeds up the process for everyone.
So once I decided that participating in the “Why?” Campaign was a good idea, I fired off the information to the folks at AeroChannel.com, watched the three TSA supplied videos and decided I’d go about promoting the education of passengers in my own way.
The “Why?” Campaign focuses on three important areas
– Why ID?
– Why Shoes?
– Why 3oz liquid limit?
Having spent a significant amount of time studying airport security I do not agree with the actual reasoning behind the three “Why?” questions, however once you have arrived at the airport, this is not the time to disagree. Once you have entered the TSA screening checkpoint you either follow the established rules or you do not fly. If you do disagree with the policy in place, you need to contact the TSA Chief Kip Hawley at Kip.Hawley@dhs.gov, or your representatives in the House & Senate.
…….anyway, what are the basics everyone needs to know? Here they are
1) When flying, all adult passengers must present a valid government issued photo identification. This ID may is usually your drivers license or your passport (If you have a “Passport Card” some TSA check points are know to reject this as a form of ID for some reason). Having your identification out and ready with your boarding card as you approach the TSA ID Checker podium will allow you to continue moving quickly rather than being forced to stop and retrieve your ID
2) When you approach the walk through metal detector (WTMD) you need to remove your shoes and place them through the X-Ray. Ideally you want to remove your shoes at the start of the baggage table as you pick up the bins to place your personal items through the X-Ray. I often remove my shoes when I am 2 or 3 people away from the bin table, then place my shoes in the first bin through the X-Raw along with my jacket/vest/sweat shirt. Having your shoes off and ready speeds up the process for you, the while line, and eliminates the delay of a TSA screener forcing you to get a bin and holding up the whole line.
3) The TSA requirement for liquids is “3-1-1.” The “3-1-1” stands for 3oz maximum per liquid (100ml is also acceptable), placed in a single 1-quart clear plastic bag, per 1 passenger. Once you approach the X-Ray make sure your 3-1-1 bag is out and visible. I place mine on top of my shoes or jacket when I push my first bin through the x-ray.
Not on the TSA “Why?” Campaign list is your laptop and other select large electronics being required to be out and placed separately in a bin at the X-Ray. If you are flying with a laptop computer, CPAP breathing machine, full-size DVD player, full-size video game console (this does include a Wii) or a video camera that uses video cassettes, you must have these items out of their bags and placed individually in a bin for screening at the X-Ray machine.
Should you be in an airport that is employing the TSA Self-Select “Diamond Lanes” be sure to pick the lane appropriate to your skill level as a traveler. If you are a novice do not enter the expert lane because it looks shorter. If you are traveling with kids, please use the lane designated for use by families, rather than entering another lane. Using the proper lanes designed for various skill levels of travelers will reduce everyone’s stress and allow the security checkpoint lanes to flow smoothly.
If you are unfamiliar with the TSA Self Select ‘Diamond Lanes’ please read here:8/05/2008 – New TSA “Self Select” Security Lanes – The Good & The Bad
For travelers who are completely unfamiliar with transitioning through airport security, I encourage you to read the following entry on Flying With Fish :2/07/2008 – Anatomy Of An Airport Security Checkpoint
…..and lastly, because thieves love travelers flying during the holidays please read this before heading to the airport: 21/05/2008 – Airport Security Screening System : Get Through Security With Ease & Safety
You can also watch me demonstrate some techniques for minimizing becoming the target of an airport thief here: Fish On Good Morning America
Following the above information will make your trip through airport security, quicker, easier and stress free.
……..on a side note, the TSA has chosen to have these three videos played on the CNN Airport Network televisions in airports throughout the United States. This is an interesting choice, given that CNN Airport Network TVs exist exclusively ‘post-security,’ usually in the gate area. This means that the three informational videos on proper procedures for crossing a TSA security checkpoint will be shown after passengers have already crossed through the TSA security checkpoint.
Below are the three TSA public service announcement videos.
–Click Images Below To Begin Each Video–
TSA – Why You Must Show ID
TSA – Why You Must Remove Your Shoes
TSA – Why Your Liquids Must Be 3oz Or Less