The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is gearing up for what it expects will be its busiest holiday travel season ever while a potential government shutdown may be days away. Although TSA employees and federal air traffic controllers will be required to work without pay during a shutdown, there could be more “out sick” calls than usual – as there were during the 2019 shutdown. This will lead to longer screening times, flight delays, and cancellations for travelers.

The TSA has some tips for holiday travelers:

  1. Pack Smart. Avoid putting prohibited items in carry-ons. “If you can spill it, spray it, spread it, pump it or pour it, then it is liquid and must be packed in a checked bag.” In other words, gravy, cranberry sauce, wine, and the like cannot go in carry-ons, but cakes and other baked goods can.
  2. Bring Acceptable Photo ID. Check your wallet before you leave your house. There are various photo IDs that are acceptable, but travelers typically bring driver’s licenses or passports.
  3. Arrival. Arrive at least two hours prior to your scheduled flight.
  4. Traveling With Firearms. If you are traveling with firearms, those items must be packed in a hard-sided, locked case in a checked bag and declared at the ticket counter when checking in. The maximum penalty for bringing a firearm to a TSA checkpoint is nearly $15,000. Moreover, bringing a firearm to a TSA checkpoint will result in delays and the loss of TSA PreCheck eligibility for up to five years.
  5. New Screening Technologies. Stay aware of new checkpoint screening technologies – watch the signs. Screening technologies vary from airport to airport. In some airports, you may not have to remove 3-1-1 liquids or laptops from your bags, but you will have to put everything into a bin for screening.
  6. TSA PreCheck. Use it if you can. The online application takes just a few minutes. You will need to schedule an appointment at an enrollment center, and you will receive your membership in three to five days. If you want it, there still may be time before your holiday travel. It costs $78.00 for a five-year membership.
  7. Passenger Support. Call ahead for TSA passenger support if you or your family members need special assistance. Call the TSA Cares helpline toll-free at 855-787-2227.
  8. Questions? If you have questions, text TSA at #275-872 (“AskTSA”) or, on X (formerly known as Twitter) or Facebook, use @AskTSA. An automated virtual assistant is available 24/7, and staff is available from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET on weekends and holidays.
  9. Awareness. Remain aware of your surroundings and report suspicious activity. “If you see something, say something.”
  10. Courtesy. Be courteous and show gratitude to the frontline workers who are trying to deal with the holiday volume. In other words, be patient during high volume days and times. Pack your patience!

Enjoy the holidays!

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Photo of Forrest G. Read IV Forrest G. Read IV

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice…

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-based nonimmigrant visas (e.g., H-1B, L, O, TN) for foreign national employees and work-related immigrant (green card) visas, including PERM Labor Certifications, and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations. He has broad experience in advising large, mid-size and small employers on their various immigration needs and developing strategies to help them navigate through complex immigration issues. He also has particular experience in counseling employers in the health care industry and addressing immigration-related issues that arise for their broad range of health care professional employees (including advising on and obtaining employment authorization for medical residents and fellows and obtaining J-1 visa waivers for foreign national physicians completing their medical training in the United States). His immigration practice also includes defending employers in connection with Department of Labor H-1B and H-2B investigations.

Mr. Read’s employment law experience includes representing management, particularly academic medical centers in the GME context, in a wide array of workplace disputes and litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including matters related to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability, family and medical leave, various wage and hour issues, contracts, and intentional torts. He advises academic medical centers on the interplay between applicable academic law and employment law and the ramifications of what are divergent legal requirements and standards. Mr. Read also provides counsel with respect to the legal impact of competency standards for residents and trainees in GME, including situations involving discipline, remediation, and dismissal. He provides advice and guidance in the peer review process, including provision of verification and assessment of training in response to third party inquiries.

As a member of the Firm’s Corporate Diversity Counseling group, Mr. Read also has experience in providing assessments and making recommendations to corporate and institutional clients with respect to diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives, conducting related internal investigations, and shaping, developing and enforcing effective policies and initiatives to ensure consistency with client values and in furtherance of business goals and objectives.