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If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii this summer, you’ll be in good company. The number of travelers visiting Hawaii this year is expected to exceed levels prior to the 2019 pandemic.
Hawaii is a notoriously popular vacation destination, and for good reason. Offering sun, sea, sand and incredible locations, there is no better place to relax and unwind.
But when a destination is popular, it inevitably means you’ll encounter crowds during your trip. Particularly at the airport.
Anticipating large volumes of passengers, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is offering some key advice to travelers departing from Hawaii’s airports this summer, to make their trip as smooth as possible.
Here is everything you need to know:
Leave plenty of time for security
When airports are busy, the TSA needs more time to process travelers efficiently.
The TSA advises that during peak travel periods, there may be times when the number of passengers that need to be screened is greater than the capacity of the security screening checkpoint.
In these circumstances, you may be required to wait more than 30 minutes before being invited through security.
Therefore, to avoid missing your flight, you should arrive at the airport earlier than normal, allowing plenty of time to clear security.
This will be easier if you plan ahead: think about how you will get to the airport, know your flight information, and be ready for each step of the airport travel process.
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think about when you travel
The busiest times at checkpoints at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) are between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and then again between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
If you want to avoid the lines and crowds, try to plan your flight to travel outside of these times.
As a bonus, very early morning and late night flights tend to be a bit cheaper than their peak hour counterparts.
You may also want to consider flying out of your chosen Hawaii airport on a Tuesday or Wednesday. This is because the busiest days for travel both locally and nationally are Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and Monday.
Sign up for TSA PreCheck
If you don’t want to wait in the regular security check line, you may want to consider signing up for TSA PreCheck.
This is a program that speeds up the screening process at airport security checkpoints by allowing travelers to keep their shoes, seatbelts, and light outerwear on. They can also stow their travel-size laptop and liquids in their carry-on bag.
More than 15 million Americans are enrolled in the TSA PreCheck program and children as young as 17 can use the TSA PreCheck lane when traveling with a parent or guardian registered with the program.
Visit www.tsa.gov/precheck to start enrollment in the program.
If you are already registered and eligible to use TSA PreCheck, make sure you know your Known Traveler Number (KNT) and that your airline profile is updated with this information.
You can then go through the TSA PreCheck lane at the airport security checkpoint. TSA agents aim to process travelers using this lane within 5 minutes.
To be prepared
If you’ve gone through airport security before, then you already know how to do it: remove your shoes and belt, remove electronics and liquids from your bag, and empty your pockets.
Don’t wait until you’re at the front of the line to start this process – prepare yourself before you get in line so you can get through as quickly as possible.
If you’re not sure what you can and can’t take through security in your carry-on, TSA’s advice is to download the MyTSA app and use the « What can I take? » feature to help with your packing.
If you need real-time support, @AskTSA is available on Twitter for advice.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com