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Heightened Airport Security

 

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Heightened Airport Security by Laura Quarantiello

SURVIVING AIRPORT SECURITY
What to expect at the airport


The new airport security rules, instituted in the wake of the
September 11 tragedies, are not only causing longer lines
and more delays, they’re also confusing travelers. How many
bags can I carry aboard? Are golf clubs considered weapons
now? What about nail clippers? Will airport screeners be
searching every nook and cranny of my bags? Do I really
have to show up two hours early for my flight? The anxiety
is enough to make you take the train. Here are some answers
to help you out.

Yes, your nail clippers will be confiscated. The airlines
have tightened the rules on what is considered a potential
weapon. Nail clippers (with metal file), pocket knives, razors,
scissors, and even corkscrews now make the list of no-no’s.
Leave these in your checked baggage or at home. Don’t try
to bring golf clubs or ski poles aboard, either; they won’t be
allowed in the passenger cabin.

Only one carry-on per person. The FAA is restricting the number of bags you can carry aboard to one, plus one personal item like a purse or briefcase. Don’t try to take more, it will just cause a longer delay.

Increased security means everything gets searched. Your
carry-on luggage will be opened and inspected for contraband.
To speed things up, pack everything within your luggage in
clear plastic bags or in see-through containers. Make sure
radios or computers have fresh batteries installed in case
screeners want to test them. And watch out when carrying
baby powder or other powdered materials like vitamins or
baby formula; some airlines are turning these away.

Always arrive early. As air travel returned to normal in the
days following the terrorist attacks, delays of up to two hours
were not uncommon. Things are running a bit smoother now,
but always leave a little extra time, just in case. All it takes is one small problem to hold up the entire line. So allow at least an hour for all flights, an hour and a half or even two hours is better.

By Laura Quarantiello
© 2002 Tiare Publications

About the Author

A San Marcos, CA freelancer, "Ms. Q" has written a wide variety of books. Her latest is "Air-Ways - The Insider's Guide to Air Travel"

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