Cheapflights Breaks Down the TSA's Travel Rules


Keep Your New Year’s Travels on Track With These Essential Tips From Cheapflights

 

This New Year comes with new travel restrictions. So, it is going to be extra important for flyers to be prepared when heading to the airport. Wondering how the new TSA restrictions will affect your flights? Cheapflights has compiled 10 travel tips to help you handle the changes and stay on track:

1. Prepare for the pat-down. The TSA is requiring that boarding gate crews perform a pat-down of all passengers before boarding a flight and inspect each and every carry-on item before you sit down. Be prepared for this new rule and have your bags open and ready for checking.

2. Stick to the aisle seat. In-flight rules will be enforced more than ever, so mind your manners and pay close attention to the flight attendants and cabin crews. Airlines are enforcing the all-passengers-in-seats rule at least one hour before landing, so if you’re prone to potty breaks be sure to choose an aisle seat so you can get to the bathroom before the seat restrictions go into place.

3. Dress in layers. Some airlines are asking passengers to remove anything from their laps during flight — this includes blankets and pillows. Dress in layers so you can keep warm and add or remove layers during your flight.

4. Compact packing. Forget about shoving everything you can into your barely closeable carry-on. Some airlines, like Air Canada, are only allowing one carry-on per passenger and other airlines will be cracking down on size restrictions. Bottom line: If it can’t fit in the overhead space or under the seat in front of you, it’s not coming with you on the plane. We suggest throwing your essentials (a good book, medicine, cell phone, etc.) into one carry-on item and checking the rest.

5. Get cozy. New TSA restrictions mean more time at the airport, which means you’ll have more time to wait. Bring a good book (or two), charge up your computers, iPods and portable DVD players, and get cozy at your gate or in the airport lounge.

6. 3-1-1 rule lives on. Now more than ever, the 3-1-1 rule will be strictly enforced. It’s a simple formula: 3-ounce bottles only in a 1-quart bag; one bag per passenger. If you break the 3-1-1 rule, you’ll be pulled out of line and rescreened, so take extra care when packing your carry-on.

7. Early bird gets to the gate on time. Expect extra long lines and wait times at the airport. The TSA is suggesting passengers arrive for their flights at least two hours in advance, allowing sufficient time to get through security. TSA has also implemented random bag checks — if you allow yourself extra time, you won’t be rushed if you’re pulled aside.

8. First flights out are usually the most on-time. If you can be flexible with your travel times and don’t mind waking up before dawn, book the first flight out and enjoy shorter security lines and less traffic to and from the airport.

9. Use the Internet to your advantage. Check in online, and print your boarding passes and luggage tags prior to leaving for the airport. You’ll save yourself money (many airlines are charging extra to check bags at the airport) and time.

10. Save money on snacks. Despite the rumors going around, you can still bring food and snacks with you onto your flight. Bring snacks from home and avoid the temptation to purchase higher priced items at the airport’s bookstores and restaurants.

The new TSA rules are constantly changing as government officials work to ensure your safety. Check with your airline before your flight for any last-minute changes and visit news.cheapflights.com for up-to-date travel information.

About Cheapflights.com

Cheapflights.com is the best place to find cheap flight deals and up-to-date travel information. As a leading US travel search engine, the site publishes one of the largest selections of airfare deals available online from a huge range of flight providers. Sign up for the Cheapflights.com weekly newsletter by visiting http://www.cheapflights.com/email-newsletter/ and follow Cheapflights on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CheapFlightsCom.

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".