ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As airports gear up for the Labor Day holiday surge, the Transportation Security Administration has advice for smoother travel. According to Bart R. Johnson, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Upstate New York, being prepared ahead of time and packing properly can facilitate the TSA screening process.

“The Labor Day holiday will be the final busy travel period of the summer, and our passenger volume will see a spike as early as Thursday,” said Johnson. “I encourage passengers to listen to the guidance that our officers are offering as our team wants to help ensure that everyone has a smooth screening experience so that travelers get to their destinations safely and get home safely,” he said.

Additional advice that TSA suggests travelers follow are:

  • Arrive early. Arrive two hours before your flight to allow sufficient time for parking, checking bags, and getting through the security checkpoint.
  • Unpack before you pack. Starting with an empty bag can help avoid any surprises during TSA screening. Check the “What Can I Bring?” tool to find out whether an item should be packed in a carry-on bag, checked bag, either or neither. Firearms must be unloaded and packed in checked baggage. They must be declared at the airline check-in counter.
  • Know the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Liquids, gels, and aerosols larger than 3.4 ounces should be in a checked bag. Passengers with an infant will find most items in their diaper bag are exempt from TSA’s liquids rule. Breast milk, powdered formula, baby food and snacks, bottles, and sippy cups are all allowed to be carried through a checkpoint. This also goes for liquid and cream medications. It is advised to place these items from a carry-on bag into a bin for X-ray screening. It’s important to note that if an item does alarm, additional screening may be required.
  • Just @AskTSA. If you’ve got a question about the security screening process, ask us! TSA offers five convenient ways to find out if an item is allowed to be in a carry-on or checked bag. TSA’s homepage has a “What Can I Bring?” feature. Type in an item and it will let you know where the item should be packed. TSA has a free downloadable app called MyTSA that has that same handy quick search function. Travelers may tweet a question to @AskTSA; can send a question via Facebook or send a question via text message by texting “Travel” to AskTSA (275-872).
  • Request Special Assistance. Contact TSA Cares 72 hours prior to traveling if someone you’re traveling with requires special accommodations during the airport security screening process. TSA Cares is a helpline to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. TSA Cares can be reached online at or by phone at (855) 787-2227 or federal relay 711. If you’re already at the airport, inform the TSA officer if a child or family member has a disability, medical condition, or medical device, and advise the officer of the best way to relieve any concerns during the screening process. Parents may carry their child through screening to ease the screening process. The TSA officer will not remove a child from his/her mobility aid, wheelchair, or scooter.
  • Travel with ease with TSA PreCheck®. Our trusted traveler program has more than 80 participating airlines and has two authorized enrollment providers. Most applicants get a Known Traveler Number within three to five days and 99 percent of members wait 10 minutes or less in a screening lane. Members are not required to remove shoes, belts, laptops, or light jackets when going through airport security. If you already have TSA PreCheck®, your kids 17 years old and younger may join enrolled adults in the dedicated lanes when traveling on the same reservation and if the TSA PreCheck indicator appears on the child’s boarding pass.