Brand-new screening measures are in place at Sea-Tac Airport ahead of the busy Thanksgiving holiday travel rush. TSA is now using specially-trained bomb-sniffing canines at security checkpoints. As passengers walk by with their luggage, the working dogs have the ability to sniff out explosives, including components to make a bomb. Then, the canines will alert their handlers if a passenger needs to be checked out for something suspicious.
To get through security smoothly and faster, TSA recommends dressing light and double-checking all carryon bags for any prohibited items. The TSA still occasionally spots people trying to bring firearms through security. If you’re packing a firearm, it must be unloaded and inside a locked, hard-sided container in your checked bag. You cannot carry a firearm, firearm parts or ammunition on the plane with you. Realistic replicas of guns are also banned from being carried on, but rifle scopes are allowed.
“We know from intelligence and from experience that explosives are the number one threat against aviation, and so we can stop those from getting pass security check-points everyone can feel a little safe,” said TSA spokesperson Lorie Dankers.
Because they are working dogs, travelers are asked to not pet the dogs or give them treats. Screening for and stopping prohibited items, especially knives of all sizes, continue to be an issue TSA agents see at checkpoints, which slows down the check-in process. Among the items surrendered at Sea-Tac Airport checkpoints this week were a pair of 3-foot-long novelty scissors, blades that fold out from credit card-size holders, power tools and an ice axe.