Planning on flying soon? Here’s what you need to know

HOUSTON – March was hot in terms of air travel. In fact, over 1 million people were screened daily during the month of March across the U.S. by TSA. This was the first time airports saw these kinds of numbers since the pandemic and experts say, these numbers aren’t going down any time soon.

Since the pandemic hit, air travel has picked up a few times (mostly around holidays) only to drop back down, but since March, TSA officers are continuing to see upticks in travel numbers.

On Tuesday, March 30 at airport security checkpoints nationwide, 1,059,759 people were screened. This rising trend comes as no surprise to TSA. In fact, they expect the demand for TSA officers to increase as more folks decide to travel.

Houston is fully staffed and ready to go to take on the additional passengers in the coming months.

Got your COVID-19 vaccine and are ready to plan a beach getaway? Safety and cleanliness are always a top priority at Houston airports, even though flyers are heading to the airport with a sense of increased confidence.

Travelers will continue to see the increased frequency of changing out air filters, around-the-clock area sanitation at Houston Airports. Also, reduced seating capacity on shuttles to promote social distancing are among the list of safety precautions that aren’t going away any time soon.

The good ol’ days of bringing your empty water bottle to refill once cleared through TSA are still a no-go. Water fountains and stations are still not available to flyers.

What about snacks on the plane? According to Houston Airports, each airline has its own policies for meals or snacks on their aircraft, as well as the boarding or seating protocols on flights. It’s better to check with your airline or visit their website to get familiar with what they do or don’t offer.

Now, don’t forget, the federal mask mandate is in place for all public transportation including airports, so if you plan to catch a flight, don’t forget to mask up.

The federal mask mandate does have an expiration date. Right now it’s May 11, according to TSA. However, with the rapidly changing COVID-19 environment, both TSA and Houston Airports say it’s difficult to predict what could happen one or two months from now, or if the mandate will be extended or modified.

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Traffic expert and What’s Driving Houston reporter, proud Latina, lover of animals, food and our beautiful planet.