It's that time of the year where more and more of us will be visiting airports. So many will be traveling via the airports for Thanksgiving, moving college students back home, the Christmas Holiday and New Year's. What can you do to lessen the stress of airport travel this holiday season?
Here are seven handy tips to make the process a little happier!
1. Be ready when heading through security
This is a big one and so simple too! When entering security checkpoints, have your ID and boarding pass in hand to give to the officer and be prepared to place electronics larger than a cell phone in a separate bin. You can avoid this second step by enrolling in the TSA’s PreCheck program, which allows for electronics to be kept in bags.
The TSA also says that minimizing the accessories you wear to the airport — including bulky jewelry, scarves, hair accessories, and large belts — will help reduce the likeliness of additional screening. “Remove all items from your pockets and put them into one of your carry-on bags so you won’t lose them,” the department writes. This will also lessen the chance you leave an expensive item behind at the TSA check point. Always double check and be sure you have collected all of your items before departing the TSA area.
2. APP Up
Download the My TSA app for your mobile device. What benefits does the app provide? The app will give you an idea of wait times in the TSA check points, you can refer to it for reminders on what you can and cannot take with you on the plane, and you will have live access to TSA for any questions you may have about your upcoming flight. If you have a Known Traveler number, you can store it in the app.
3. Get Social with AskTSA
Through the TSA-run social accounts and the My TSA app, travelers can access AskTSA, the department’s question-and-answer system that is operated through Facebook Messenger and Twitter, where travelers can typically get a quick response to their questions.
The service is available on Twitter at @AskTSA or via Facebook Messenger on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on weekends/holidays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
4. Checking Baggage vs. Carryon Baggage - Pack it right!
Make sure that large liquids, gels, creams, and aerosols are in checked bags and that those in your carry-on follow the 3-1-1 liquid rule. For liquids that are medically necessary, make sure you alert a TSA agent when you get to the checkpoint. Consult AskTSA or the MyTSA app for any other items that may fall into the gray area. Not sure which items you can carry in your carry-on bag? The MyTSA app is your friend.
The TSA also recommends that you remove powders from your bag, so they can be more easily screened. With the new rules, if the TSA finds powder in a bag, it is cause for a bag check that can keep you at security even longer. “Removing the powder items is likely to reduce the need for a bag check at the checkpoint,” the TSA writes.
5. Grandma was right! A stitch in time will save you nine...
Breathing a sigh of relief that you’ve made it past security without any major hiccups is fine, but forgetting that your laptop was screened separately or leaving a wallet or cellphone at the bottom of a jam-backed bin is not. It’s most important to remember to grab everything, even if it means taking a little more time at security. Not having to circle back to TSA to ask an agent for something you may have forgotten will save you and other travelers time in the long run. By the time that TSA sees that you have left an item behind, you may be several gates away and unable to hear the TSA announcement. By slowing down just a bit and checking that you have all of your items in hand, you could save yourself SEVERAL minutes overall.
6. Enroll in TSA PreCheck
The TSA is constantly pushing programs like PreCheck, Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI because not only do they make their agents’ jobs easier, but these programs also save travelers time and stress as they pass through security.
People using the trusted traveler programs can move through security without having to take off shoes or light jackets, and without having to pull laptops and liquids from their bags. More than 180 airports around the U.S. have dedicated PreCheck. You can get more information about PreCheck on the MyTSA app.
7. Tweet Tweet! Monitor the Twitter account for your airport.
Fly Nashville is one of the best for alerting passengers to anticipated wait times. The Nashville airport is also going through a remodel and their Twitter account keeps you up to date on all the latest details at BNA.
Did you hear the news from Nashville today? Spirit Airlines to BNA
So, the big announcement out of Nashville today...? Spirit Airlines is going to start flying from Nashville (BNA) to six destinations later this year.
Spirit has a reputation of being a nickel and dime operation. As long as you know what you are getting, you may be OK with Spirit. The button below will take you to fee page of the Spirit website where you can see the fees charged in their "nickel and dime" situations.
Starting October 10, 2019, Spirit will offer the following daily flights from BNA: Baltimore, Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Orlando. Starting November 5, 2019 daily service to Tampa.
This could be very good news for cruisers. All but one of these destinations are hot spots for the growing cruise industry. Our word of advice, be careful when pricing out your ticket. Do you want an assigned seat - pay for it. Do you want to check a bag - pay for it. Do you want to take on a decent sized carry on - pay for it. Would you like a soda on that flight? Yep, you guessed it - pay for it.
If you don't "pay for it" with your luggage before showing up to the Spirit counter in Nashville, that's OK Linda. Spirit has you! They are going to let you pay MORE for it. Be a smart shopper and be sure you are comparing ALL the costs when you are looking at any of the Spirit destinations from Nashville.
One the positive side, we are very excited to see what Spirit coming to the marketplace will do to overall ticket prices to these destinations. Competition is good for all!
Safe travels everyone!
The Real Deal with REAL ID
I live in Kentucky and I keep hearing that I may need a passport for domestic flights in 2018.
Is this true?
Well, good news! Kentucky has received ANOTHER extension and we now have until October 2018 before we must be REAL ID compliant.
With that said, I always recommend having a valid passport book in hand. The passport books are not that expensive when you breakdown the cost of the passport book over the life cycle of the passport. And, who wouldn't want to be able say YES when you see a great value on a trip out of the USA?
You will see that I have bolded the word book. I'm pretty passionate about the passport book vs. the passport card. The passport card is not valid for flights outside of the USA. If you are going to the trouble and expense of getting a passport, get the passport book.
Recently, I had the chance to meet with Brandi Duvall our Warren County Circuit Clerk.
The REAL ID requirements have a major impact on her office and her team of employees.
Read below for key takeaways about the REAL ID and the impact the act will have on each of us.
On October 10, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security issued another extension to the State of Kentucky in meeting the REAL ID requirements. With that extension, the state now has until October 2018 to become REAL ID compliant.
Why was the REAL ID enacted in 2005?
The REAL ID act is one result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The terrorists on the planes used state issued identification cards in order to board the planes. As a result of this, it became apparent that tighter controls were needed to screen the issuing of identification cards across all states.
Why is it that Kentucky is not already REAL ID compliant?
Kentucky is the only state where the Judicial Branch of our government issues the identification cards. Typically, states have a Department of Motor Vehicles office through their Executive Branch of state government.
In Kentucky, we have 120 counties. Did you know that each county distributes drivers licenses? And, some counties issue them from multiple locations. Also, did you know that most states do not distribute drivers license in each county? I learned that Kentucky is a bit unusual in the distribution of drivers licenses.
Converting to the REAL ID requirements is a bit more challenging for a state such as Kentucky. We have to centralize the ability for all 120 counties with a total of 144 issuing locations to print drivers licenses. To do this takes time.
The process we have now works well. Why do we need to centralize the distribution of drivers licenses in Kentucky?
Security. One centralized system of distribution is much more secure than 144 distribution outlets across the state. Starting January 2019, the Transportation Cabinet will be taking over the responsibility of printing drivers licenses for the State of Kentucky.
What will the new process look like?
You will still visit the Circuit Court to apply for your license. At their office, you will be issued a paper identification. Your official drivers license will be sent to you from the centralized printing area and will reach you in 5-7 days via mail.
New ID types are coming with the REAL ID act. You will have an option of the Standard ID or the Enhanced ID. What's the difference you ask?
Enhanced ID: This ID will carry a special feature that shows it is verified by the State of Kentucky. The Enhanced ID will be valid for 8 years. This is the ID version that you will need in order to have your ID be valid for domestic flights.
Standard ID: The Standard ID has not been verified by the State of Kentucky. This version will NOT be valid as your ID for flights.
Be sure to check out Brandi's website: https://www.drivewarrenky.com for all of the latest REAL ID updates. Only 3 counties in Kentucky have a website dedicated to updating their citizens on the REAL ID program. We are thankful that Warren County is one of the three counties taking such proactive communication measures!
Happy Place Travel
661 31W By Pass Suite C
Bowling Green, KY 42101