ATLANTA - Spring break will be here before we know it, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) wants to make sure travelers are well-prepared before they head to the airport.
Hoping to ease the screening process, an official with the TSA spoke at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Tuesday morning to remind people what is and isn't allowed aboard aircraft when traveling.
"Passengers can help us out by removing prohibited items from their bags," TSA regional spokesperson Mark Howell said.
Howell went over a number of trip planning tips, beginning with awareness of prohibited items.
"We see about 1,500 pounds of prohibited items per month," Howell said.
Passengers are given several options when a prohibited item comes through security; however, many passengers don't have time for the alternatives and are forced to surrender or voluntarily abandon the property. To avoid having to do so, passengers are urged to review the TSA's list of prohibited items.
Some items that can be checked but not carried on include hammers, drills, baseball bats, scissors, brass knuckles, BB guns and gel-type candles.
"Take the time before you come to the airport, just to do a sweep of your bag," Howell said.
According to Howell, the most common surrendered items include liquids larger than 3.4 ounces. The second most common are knives, such as pocket knives or cork screws with small blades.
"The most common thing we hear when people bring a prohibited item to the checkpoint is, 'I didn't even think about it,'" Howell said.
The TSA is anticipating a very busy spring break period, especially toward the end of the month and beginning of April.
"There may be days where we're screening up to 80,000 passengers a day," Howell said.
To make traveling less stressful, the TSA recommends arriving to the airport two hours prior to your scheduled departure time. Specifically, for spring break passengers, if you're traveling with oversized items, such as surf boards or gulf clubs, give yourself additional time to allow for oversized baggage screening.