PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- Airline travel has changed significantly this past year. In April, the number of travelers going in and out of Sky Harbor Airport dropped 93% due to COVID-19. But as time goes on, travelers are feeling a little more comfortable flying.
"Sundays are becoming the busiest travel days we have an uptick of about 800,000 plus nationwide," says Paty Mancha with the Transportation Security Administration. She tells 3 On Your Side that if you haven't flown in a while, expect to see a lot of changes when it comes to how the TSA is handling coronavirus.
"We needed to ensure not only the safety of the traveling public but our employees as well."
Besides social distancing and a mask mandate at airports, you'll also find acrylic barriers have been installed to separate TSA security officers from travelers. When you're at the check point, you'll be asked to place your boarding pass on the reader yourself instead of handing it to the TSA officer.
Mancha says you'll also be asked to lower your mask to make sure your identity matches the picture on your ID. "So it's just a quick one. You don't have to speak, you simply have to lower your mask, show your face so that they can be compared to your travel document your identification and put it back on, and continue on your way."
The changes are part of the TSA's Stay healthy, Stay Secure campaign that kicked off recently. The TSA is also recommending that travelers put their personal items in their carry-on bags instead of those plastic bins that you might be used to. "Don't take anything in your person, your personal items your phone change, wallet, things like that, make sure that you put it in your carry-on bag so that as you go through security and you put your items in," Mancha says.
And when it comes to the size of containers, the TSA is relaxing its rule when it comes to disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers. "It can be larger, up to 12 ounces, and that's because we understand that people want to bring their hand sanitizer with them, as well as a wipes, so some people might have wipes with bleach or wipes with some kind of disinfectant in them. They're welcome to bring those on board. Go to ask TSA find out by specifically if your item is allowed to be brought on board."
Of course, to make things go more smootly, always make sure you have your documents out and ready before you get up to the TSA check point.