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TSA Fighting Holiday Airport Lines with More Officers, Social Media

We're about a week into December, which means the holiday travel season is underway. That can mean long lines at the airport, but Transportation Security Administration officials say they're ready for the challenge.

Thousands of new officers have been hired, many part-time screeners have been upgraded to full-time, and a bunch of new K9 teams will be sniffing around airports—all in an attempt to improve security while getting you to your gate in a relatively speedy manner.

Additionally, you can now use Twitter or Facebook to ask the agency about what you can carry onto planes. If you've got a question about an item, tweet @AskTSA or visit the Ask TSA Facebook page, and post a photo or description of the thing in question. You should have an answer about its carry-on-ability in minutes. 

Passenger preparation can be key to getting through security on time—so pack light and show up at the airport early. The TSA recommends arriving two hours before a domestic flight, or three hours for an international one.

Unless, of course, you're enrolled in the agency's Pre-Check program; those pre-cleared passengers (who have paid an $85 fee) usually spend on average about 10 minutes in line.