The TSA Is Predicting a Record Number of Travelers for Spring Break

Here’s how to avoid delays.

A record number of travelers are expected in U.S. airports this Spring Break season.
Photo: Getty Images

The Transportation Security Administration is expecting a record number of travelers around spring break this year, with more than 100 million passengers traveling through airports from March 14 to April 28.

Because of the large numbers, you'll want to be prepared to ensure your trip goes smoothly. Here are a few tips, along with suggestions from TSA officials, to help you get in and out of the airport in record time.

How to Get Through Security Faster

While signing up for programs like TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and Clear can help expedite security screenings and customs procedures, travelers who aren't enrolled in one of these programs still have options.

Mid-tier and elite airline loyalty members traveling on many U.S. airlines can often get expedited security screening — check with your airline to see if your next flight qualifies. United and American Airlines also sell priority access, starting as low as $15 depending on the flight.

Whether you're in the PreCheck or regular line, you can also speed up getting through security by being prepared. Make sure to only bring approved sizes of liquids and keep them in a separate bag, and wear shoes that are easy to get on and off if necessary. Traveling with a laptop? Get a security-friendly laptop bag so you aren't fumbling with your device.

How to Navigate the Airport

TSA officials recommend travelers arrive two hours before a domestic flight, and three hours before an international flight. Don't forget to consider traffic, parking, rental car returns, and whether or not you'll need to get a boarding pass or check a bag.

There are also a few apps that can help save time at the airport. MiFlight and TripIt Pro can help you monitor airport security wait times. Signing up for your airline’s app can also be an easy way to get notifications about gate changes and flight delays.

Passengers can also save time by making sure their bags meet airlines' size limits. Several airlines have recently changed their carry-on bag allowances, and you don't want to be surprised to find your bag is too large when you get to the airport.

Finally, check if your airline offers an airport guide or terminal map to get information about check-in options and gate locations.

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