SALT LAKE CITY — The Transportation Security Administration is predicting that this summer will be the busiest ever at its security checkpoints, and getting through security, especially with babies and toddlers, can be a hassle.
But the TSA has some helpful tips to make the process easier and faster for everyone.
TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said travelers with children can help keep things moving by knowing the rules and the procedures before heading in line.
“It’s important to know that you can bring certain types of liquids through that are over the 100 milliliters or 3.4 ounces size,” Dankers said. “You might need those for your child while you’re traveling. They may require some additional screening, but you can bring those.”
For Sabrina Pattillo, who was traveling Monday at Salt Lake City International Airport with 5-week-old Bronx, being able to bring extra formula for him made her feel a lot better about traveling.
“So we can bring our breast milk with us to travel, powder formula, the liquid that we need to mix the bottles, so there wasn’t going to be a constraint on how much I could bring with me,” Pattillo said. “I could feed him for a longer trip, which is nice to know.”
But to keep the process moving, Dankers said parents need to tell the TSA officer upfront that they have liquids for infants and children exempt from the liquid policy so officers can prepare for additional screening with a bottle/liquid scanner. They also recommend putting those in a separate bin.
Another tip from the TSA to make screening quicker is knowing that kids 12 and under can leave their shoes and light jacket on when going through the security checkpoint.
Crystal Young-Otterstrom said she thought going through security Monday at Salt Lake City International Airport with her husband, Joel, and two children, Betty, 6, and Edwin, 2, was pretty easy.
“I learned that I don’t have to take their shoes off,” Young-Otterstrom said with a laugh. “I always took their shoes off, too, to be safe, so that makes it a lot easier.”
And parents can rest assured that their children will never be separated from them or a guardian, even if additional screening is needed.
“I thought it would be more of a challenge. I was happy to know that I didn’t have to leave him at all. I could carry him with me the whole time. And then when we went through, they just swabbed my hands to make sure everything was OK,” Pattillo said.
The summer travel season is well underway, with more crowds expected next month, but the TSA says if parents follow these guidelines, it will make the process better for everyone.
“I think it’s easier than you think it will be,” Pattillo said. “They’re willing to help you get your stuff through and make special accommodations for the baby, so it’s worth to be able to take a trip.”
Airport spokesman Nancy Volmer recommended that passengers arrive about two hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international flights to allow enough time find parking and get through security.
Contributing: Sam Penrod