FareCompare Traveler Advisory: Increased TSA Security for Thanksgiving Flights

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FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney tells holiday travelers what to expect from TSA body scans and airport security pat-downs.

There’s no going back to airport metal detectors with a growing list of body scanners in over 300 domestic airports. But, if I have to choose between the TSA body scan or the pat-down, I'll go with the body scan.

More travelers flying for the holiday may end up poked and prodded like a Thanksgiving turkey thanks to more aggressive airport security measures being implemented across hundreds of domestic airports. More than 8 million passengers are expected to crowd the nation's airports this peak holiday travel period and TSA officers will be there to greet them with extremely thorough body pat-downs and full-body scanners. Holiday travelers should be prepared for these increased airport security measures which could mean longer lines and added stress

FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney was recently at LAX and spoke with TSA Spokesman Nico Melendez about domestic airports with TSA body scanners.

The FareCompare chief had a chance to experience both the body scanner and the alternative ‘enhanced pat-down.’

"Holiday travelers may feel a little violated once they pass through airport security this Thanksgiving” said Seaney. “But there’s no going back to airport metal detectors with a growing list of body scanners in over 300 domestic airports. But, if I have to choose between the TSA body scan or the pat-down, I'll go with the body scan."

Before you fly this Thanksgiving, here are five of Rick Seaney's top holiday travel tips to save you time and hassle:

1. Be prepared for airport security: Body scanners are now in more than 340 domestic airports; the TSA anticipates having nearly 1,000 body scanner machines in place before the end of 2011. Whether you’ll experience a body scanner, or not, know the TSA rules before you fly. View the full list of domestic airports with body scanners.

2. Pack your carry-on baggage in layers: The TSA advises organizing your carry-on in layers starting with clothes, then electronics, more clothes and an additional layer for heavier items. Layering helps TSA officers clearly see baggage contents. Also have your 1 quart-sized clear plastic zip-top bag of liquids prepared before arriving at the airport.

3. Do not wrap gifts: If a TSA officer has to inspect a package in your carry-on baggage it will have to be unwrapped. So wait until you reach your final destination to wrap gifts you intend to carry on.

4. Take care with head coverings and loose clothes: The TSA does permit wearing head covering and religious garments for the screening process but be prepared for additional screenings by TSA officers if your headwear or clothing is loose-fitting or large enough to hide prohibited items.

5. Exercise patience and give yourself extra time: Lines will be long because of the Thanksgiving season and increased airport security measures. Allot extra time (generally an extra two hours) to get to the airport, pass through airport security and arrive safely for your Thanksgiving destination.

About FareCompare: FareCompare is an easy-to-use airfare comparison shopping website, featuring a comprehensive airfare search engine. FareCompare.com is powered by the world's largest database of current and historical airfare. Powered by the largest and sophisticated database of historical and current airfare data, FareCompare tools and apps make finding cheap flight deals as easy as a single click. While most airfare shopping sites want to sell airline tickets, FareCompare wants shoppers to find a flight deal every time.

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