TSA understands that the Hajj is a significant event for Muslims and is one of the five pillars of Islam. Many observant Muslims perform Hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca and Madinah in Saudi Arabia. Each year, more than a million pilgrims take part in the Hajj, including over ten thousand Americans. The dates for Hajj this year are Sunday, October 13, through Friday, October 18, 2013. The travel period this year will commence a few weeks before Hajj and end several weeks after its conclusion.
Quick Tips to Prepare for Travel During Hajj
- Pilgrims traveling in traditional or religious clothing may be considered to be wearing loose fitting or bulky clothing and may be subject to additional screening at the TSA security checkpoints, possibly including a pat-down. For additional information on the security screening processes for religious and cultural needs, please review the TSA website at: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1037.shtm.
- Pilgrims may travel through a security checkpoint which has Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT). Being screened through this technology is voluntary and you may choose to opt out. For additional information on Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT), please visit the TSA website at: http://www.tsa.gov/approach/tech/ait/index.shtm.
- Pilgrims returning from the Hajj who wish to bring back holy water should pack it in their checked baggage, if the container is larger than three point four (3.4) ounces (100 ml), pursuant to TSA’s 3-1-1 liquids regulations. For additional information about the 3-1-1 process, please see the TSA website at: http://www.tsa.gov/311/index.shtm.
- Pilgrims traveling for the Hajj may wish to consult the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s website at www.cbp.gov for additional information on port of entry guidelines or restrictions.
Addressing Travel Issues or Concerns
- Travelers experiencing difficulties, such as denied or delayed airline boarding, or denied or delayed entry into and exit from the U.S. at a port of entry or border checkpoint may seek redress through the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP). Complete information on filing a TRIP complaint can be found on the TSA website at: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/customer/redress/index.shtm.
- Travelers who believe they have experienced rude or unprofessional conduct at a security checkpoint or have questions about the security screening process are encouraged to request a supervisor at the checkpoint to discuss the matter or to submit a concern to TSA’s Contact Center at: TSA-ContactCenter@tsa.dhs.gov.
- Travelers who believe they have experienced discriminatory conduct because of a protected basis may file a concern with TSA’s Office of Civil Rights and Liberties. Complete information on the protected bases and the complaint process can be found on the TSA website at: http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/civilrights/travelers.shtm.
- Travelers may also file discrimination concerns with the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Complete information on the complaint process can be found on the DHS website at: http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0373.shtm.