Security / TSA Info
COVID Safety – Your COVID-19 Questions AnsweredSince March, data suggests that one in five infected persons requires hospitalization. Those odds aren’t good enough for most to continue vacationing any time soon. The CDC states that “staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick.” Obviously, you’re least at risk inside your own home, but how dangerous is flying right now? Check out our frequently asked questions below concerning COVID safety.
- Canada – Restricting all non-essential travel from the US, indefinitely
- Mexico – Non-essential travel restricted along the US-Mexico land border through July 21, 2020 (at the earliest). Passengers and aircrew members arriving at Mexican airports may be subject to health screenings including temperature checks. Those exhibiting symptoms may be subject to additional health screening and/or quarantine.
- U.K. – Department of State Level 4 advisory to avoid travel
- Italy – Allowed only for proven work, urgent health needs, or to return to your place of residence, indefinitely. Those travelers continue to be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
- Japan – US Travelers banned indefinitely from entering Japan, unless there are exceptional circumstances. 14-day quarantine mandatory if you’ve stayed in these countries.
- TSA officers will wear gloves and masks, and change gloves after each pat-down. They will use a fresh swap for each passenger when probing for explosives.
- Passengers should wear facial protection and practice social distancing in the checkpoint line
- Passengers may be asked to remove their mask to verify ID (or if the mask trips an alarm for some reason)
- Scan your own boarding pass (don’t hand it to the TSA officer), then display it to TSA for visual inspection
- If your bag triggers an alarm, you may be directed out of line to dispose of/separate culprit items and return through the line (eliminating a TSA officer’s search of your bags)
- TSA is allowing you to place in your carry-on bag, one container of hand sanitizer, up to 12 ounces (standard rule is 3.4 ounces for liquids and gels). Just remove it from your bag and place it in its own bin when going through security.
- Choose a window seat when you can — it’s farther from the aisle with flight attendants and when passengers need to use the restroom.
- Arrive at your gate earlier than usual. Most airlines will take your temperature and NOT allow you to board if they think you have a fever. However, if it’s exceptionally hot out or you have been sprinting to get to your gate, these things can cause a rise in temperature, in which case you will not be allowed to board. Arriving early allows your true temperature to show.
- Bring an empty reusable water bottle through airport security and fill it up in the terminal. This limits the transactions at the terminal and also beverages service by flight attendants.
- The CDC says basic sanitary measures are some of the most effective ways to stay safe (and prevent spread) of COVID-19 when traveling. Make sure to:
- Clean your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water (or hand sanitizer) often.
- touching your eyes, nose, mouth, and face.
- Cough and sneeze into the crease of your elbow (not in your hands).
REAL ID is a federal law that affects how states issue driver’s licenses and ID cards if they are going to be acceptable for federal purposes, such as boarding a domestic commercial flight, or entering a military installation or federal facility that requires ID. Beginning October 1, 2021, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant Driver’s License, Photo ID Card, or another form of federally-acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID. REAL IDs are now available to Pennsylvanians who want them. Click Here for a guide that will help you decide if you need a REAL ID, and provides information on what documents you will need and steps you can take to get an optional REAL ID.