“We’re fully staffed up and we’re ready to screen all these passengers when they get here,” said Michael McCarthy, TSA Public Affairs Manager.
To keep the security lines moving, TSA is asking for passengers to be prepared too, especially when it comes to what they can and cannot bring in a carry-on bag.
TSA officers at BDL detect approximately 750 pounds of prohibited items each month at the security checkpoint. Those are items the passengers willingly surrender. Passengers who arrive at the checkpoint with prohibited items can also choose to return those items to their vehicle or check their luggage instead.
McCarthy said, “if you bring it to the checkpoint, we’re going to spot that it’s in your bag, we’re going to pull your bag aside for a secondary search and that’s not what we want to have to do.”
He displayed for reporters a number of items surrendered to TSA officers at BDL over the last 30 days alone, including full sized sunscreen and water bottles, a fake pistol, a large wooden rolling pin, and a woman's clutch that could double as brass knuckles.
He said, “none of those are allowed in your carry-on luggage, but they will be perfectly fine in your checked luggage.”
Passengers who question if an item might be allowed through security are encouraged to contact TSA. There’s a search function for this purpose on their website or you can call the Contact Center 866-289-9673.
“One way that passengers are now reaching us is they're taking a photo of a particular item and they’re sending it to us on Twitter and they’re saying, 'Can I bring this?', especially if it’s a unique or obscure item that we may not know about,” said McCarthy.
Passengers are also encouraged to double check their belongings as they leave the security checkpoint. Since January 2017, passengers at BDL have left behind 30 watches, nearly 50 laptops, 75 keys, and more than 50 drivers licenses.