How do I navigate the TSA check-in lines at Austin-Bergstrom?


Passengers departing Austin-Bergstrom International Airport experienced long wait times to clear security and get to their gates.

Recently, AUS issued an alert to flyers to warn them of the long wait times. On Sunday April 3 they treated over 30,000 people with much the same the following Monday. This busy weekend follows an even busier weekend the week before.

The airport linked the problem to the high number of flights to and from Austin as well as staffing issues.

So let’s take a look at what it takes to clear security at AUS and what passengers can do to streamline the process.

What do I need to get through security?

Before boarding your flight, the TSA recommends going through her travel checklist to make sure you have everything you need and are prepared ahead of time.

before packing

  • Liquids, gels and aerosols packed in hand luggage must comply with the 3-1-1 liquid rule
  • Consult the list of prohibited objects for hand luggage and checked luggage
  • If you’re buying a luggage lock, be sure to look for ones that are TSA-recognized
  • Stick a card with your name and contact details on your electronic devices

When packing

  • Pack items in layers (one-layer shoes, one-layer clothes, one-layer electronics, etc.)
  • The guns are permitted in checked baggage only and must be unloaded, placed in a locked hard-sided container and declared to your airline
  • All fireworks contain explosive materials and are not permitted in checked or carry-on baggage
  • Pack large electronics on the top layer of hand luggage to control accessibility
  • Place your 3-1-1 bag containing liquids, gels and aerosols in the front pocket of your carry-on for accessibility
  • If you are traveling with a pet, bring a leash so carriers can be properly checked

Before leaving for the airport

  • Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the airport early.
  • Wear easily removable shoes.
  • Passengers with a disability or medical condition may call the toll-free TSA Cares Helpline ahead of time at 855-787-2227.

Before entering the checkpoint

  • have your identifier and boarding pass for inspection. Adult passengers 18 years and older must present a valid ID at the airport checkpoint in order to travel.

Acceptable IDs include:

  • Driver’s license or other photo ID issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
  • American passport
  • US passport card
  • DHS Trusted Traveler Cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • State-issued enhanced driver’s license
  • An acceptable photo ID issued by a federally recognized Tribal Nation/Indian Tribe
  • HSPD-12 PIV Card
  • Passport issued by a foreign government
  • Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transport Worker ID
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • American Merchant Navy Title
  • Veterans Medical Identity Card (CIAV)

The TSA says weapons licenses and temporary driver’s licenses are not acceptable forms of identification.

Beginning May 3, 2023, the TSA will require those traveling to the United States using state-issued IDs or licenses to ensure that their IDs are REAL ID Compliant. REAL ID compliant cards are marked with a star at the top of the card.

In the standard control lane

  • Remove the bag of 3-1-1 liquids and place it in the trash
  • Make sure pockets are empty, including keys, tissues, change, wallets, cell phones, etc., and remove bulky jewelry. Valuables can be placed in your hand luggage
  • Take off your shoes and place them directly on the x-ray belt
  • Remove personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone from your carry-on baggage and place them in a trash can without placing anything on or under them for X-ray screening. (For example, laptops, tablets, e-readers and consoles portable games.)
  • Don’t forget to check the bins and collect all your personal belongings after passing the checkpoint

What is TSA PreCheck?

In addition to the standard screening line, TSA offers a PreCheck screening line.

Once approved for TSA PreCheck, travelers can add their Known Traveler Number to their airline reservations for up to 5 years with the following benefits:

However, even with PreCheck, no individual is guaranteed expedited screening, and all travelers will be screened, the TSA says.

How do I apply for TSA PreCheck?

Travelers interested in applying for TSA PreCheck can submit an online application and schedule an in-person appointment that includes a background check and fingerprinting at an enrollment center.

The TSA warns that any website claiming to allow travelers to register for PreCheck that does not end with “.gov” is not an official website. Legitimate online registration is permitted via Where

First-time travelers cannot pay the registration or application fee online. The application and fees must be completed and paid in person at a TSA enrollment center. New applicants are not asked to provide payment information online.

The application fee for TSA PreCheck is $85 for 5 years.

The TSA PreCheck application program is only open to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and lawful permanent residents. Documents needed to apply include proof of citizenship (birth certificate or passport) or permanent resident card.

Applicants may be ineligible due to incomplete or false application information, violations of transportation security regulations, or criminal offenses and disqualifying factors.

How do I know if TSA PreCheck is available to me?

Participating airlines display a TSA PreCheck indicator directly on a traveler’s boarding pass if they are eligible for TSA PreCheck based on the Known Traveler Number (KTN) provided.

Without a valid boarding pass with a TSA PreCheck indicator on it, you cannot access the TSA PreCheck queue.

TSA PreCheck screening may still be an option through the standard screening lane when dedicated TSA PreCheck screening lanes are not available.

If a TSA PreCheck lane is not available, travelers can show their TSA PreCheck boarding pass and can keep 3-1-1 liquids and laptops in their bags, along with shoes and light jackets when on the go. they access the standard control lane. Eligible passengers should check with the TSA agent on duty.

Is TSA PreCheck available at AUS?

Yes. AUS TSA checkpoints open at 3:30 a.m. with TSA PreCheck and Clear screening available at Checkpoints 1 and 2 West.

Additionally, a new security checkpoint near the Southwest ticket office, Checkpoint 2 East, will be open during peak periods for all passengers passing through General Screening.

All checkpoints lead to all gates and airlines in the Barbara Jordan Terminal, the airport says.

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