The Transportation Safety Administration is warning Friday could be one of its busiest days yet, as travelers head to airports ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.
The TSA is recommending travelers should arrive in the airport at least two hours before their flight. Also, you should do your research ahead of time, so you know what you can and can’t bring in your carry-on.
“The whole Fourth of July travel season--which starts [Thursday] and goes through about July 9th--is expected to be very, very busy," said Carrie Harmon, spokesperson for the TSA. "In fact, TSA anticipates screening about 28.3 million passengers at airports around the country [Friday] alone.”
That includes more than 50,000 travelers in Houston just Thursday and Friday.
Houston Airport System officials say it’s going to be a busier summer overall.
“We’re starting to see some growth," said Bill Begley, spokesperson for Houston Airport systems. "International obviously has kept us steady and helped us continue to grow. Domestic is starting to rebound and become positive. I think that’s why you’re starting to see the numbers continue to grow, because the economy is starting to improve, and so more people are traveling.”
Begley says Bush and Hobby Airports have a goal of getting everyone through TSA checkpoints in 10 minutes or less.
Even so, the airport security line can sometimes be daunting. Signing up for TSA PreCheck is now just one of the ways you can beat the lines.
There’s also CLEAR -- a newer private company that contracts with airports. With CLEAR, you can scan your finger print or the iris of your eye, and CLEAR agents then escort you to the CLEAR lane, which allows you to go to the front of the TSA line.
Also, this year United has rolled out faster Automated Screening Lanes for international arrivals at Bush Airport.
“This system here will help us immensely in keeping up with the summer traffic,” said Sheyi Ognleye, TSA assistant federal security director of screening at Bush Airport.
Houston Airport System has a feature on their website that allows you to track exactly how long the TSA security lines are at both Bush and Hobby Airports, allowing you to plan ahead and leave early for the airport if needed.