TSA Reminds Travelers of iPhone App Ahead of the Holidays

By Carlton Purvis

TSA is reminding travelers about its iPhone app made to supply travelers with answers to their most commonly asked questions just in time for the holidays. The agency published  it's "Helpful Hints for Holiday Travel" online this week promoting the app and providing information to make travelers aware of current screening practices. And despite rumours, TSA will not be opening wrapped presents that come through security.

The app, MyTSA, named the best government app earlier this year by the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council, “puts the most frequently requested information about security procedures at airport checkpoints right at their fingertips,” says a release issued by the agency.

The application contains a tool for users to check for delays at airports, provides a guide that includes travel tips for children, rules for traveling with liquids, how to dress for airport security, and more.

Some of the more interactive features include a tool that tells current security wait times based on information input by travelers using the app and the “Can I Bring?” tool.

“Can I Bring?” allows users to type in an item they want to take on a trip to find out if it’s prohibits or applicable restrictions. It also tells if the item can be brought as a carry-on or stored in a checked bag.

Entering a keyword on the app populates a list of similar items that can be narrowed down to specific items. Entering the word “camera” populates a list of 22 topics including disposable cameras, camera lenses, DSLR cameras, and camera bags, for example. One tip provided for traveling with camera equipment was to “ wrap cords tightly around electronics items and pack your bag in neat layers,” to help TSA officer get a clearer picture of the inside of the bag.

TSA also published a blog to dispel rumors that wrapped presents would be unwrapped if they were brought to security checkpoints. Despite recent reports suggesting otherwise, TSA says it is not opening wrapped presents this holiday season – unless they set off an alarm during screening. Wrapping paper doesn’t make it any harder for TSA to screen packages using normal equipment. “We can see through the paper just like we can see through luggage,” TSA’s myth-busting blogger wrote on Monday.

MyTSA is available for free from iTunes. For mobile devices other than iPhones, direct the browser to to get MyTSA.

photo by kalleboo/flickr


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