Skift Take

The AskTSA team did a surprisingly good job answering our queries on Facebook Messenger. But if you're expecting prompt responses on your way to the airport, you may not hear back in time.

It can be difficult for flyers to find the correct information about how to navigate airport security despite efforts by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ease the burden of its sometimes-confusing and restrictive regulations.

The TSA found some success starting last year with its @AskTSA Twitter handle, which allows flyers to tweet questions directly to TSA representatives. Coupled with the agency’s Instragram account that details the ridiculous objects that flyers try to sneak through security, the TSA’s responsiveness to the traveling public has improved.

In July, the TSA rolled out its Ask TSA service on Facebook Messenger, providing another medium for travelers to ask their travel questions. The chat format, however, is a different animal than Twitter or Instagram.

TSA representatives, for instance, are only available to chat on Messenger from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

Skift asked the TSA six questions over Facebook Messenger that a family might have before departing on an upcoming flight. In all, it took about one hour and 40 minutes for the agency to respond to all six questions.

The responses, however, were detailed and linked to pertinent information from the TSA’s website. Here’s a look at our conversation with an Ask TSA representative.





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Tags: facebook, messaging, tsa

Photo credit: The TSA has turned to Facebook Messenger to help answer questions from flyers.

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