Airport Security In The Post 9/11 World
Security is a different story in the post 9/11 world than it was before the tragedies of that fateful day. Because security has been stepped up, it’s important for you to be aware of all of the security measures that are in place, and that everyone in every airport is being watched every step of the way. While you may not appreciate the security measures in place at your airports or the airports that you travel through, it’s important that you respect these measures or your travel plans can be changed in a moments notice. Security in airports is no laughing matter, though the security requirements are changing constantly, it’s true that airports and air travel will never be as lax as they once were.
Getting through security can be quite simple if you know what to expect. Checking in at your airline will require photo identification and you might as well keep it out to go through security as well as show your boarding pass so that security employees can determine whether or not you can proceed to the boarding areas. When you get up to the metal detector you will be prompted to remove all metal jewelry and belongings as well as any purses and carry on luggage. Some airports will require that you remove your shoes and jackets along with other personal items. If you are not required to remove your shoes, you might want to do so if you have any metal inside or outside of your shoes. This may seem silly to you as you know what you do and do not have on your person, but the only way for the security personnel to identify the good from the bad is to have them walk through a metal detector as well as scan and inspect personal items that will go through an individual metal detector.
If you are traveling with a laptop computer, be prepared to open your computer and turn it on for airport security. It’s a good idea to be sure that your battery is charged up so you can simply turn the computer on and then go on your way. If your battery is not charged, you might have to plug the computer in to power up which will slow you and airport security down. Preparation will make getting through the metal detector much more efficient. You may experience similar requests if you have a portable DVD player or similar devices, so stand prepared to power up your electronics.
If you are traveling with pocketknives or other items that could be used as an weapon, be prepared to give it up or check it in with your luggage. While you might not consider your small pocketknife to be a weapon, the security at your airport might feel differently. So, safe yourself some time and pack all of these items in luggage that you are checking in. You might normally carry these items in your pockets, but air travel is not normal business anymore, all of that changed on September 11, 2001.
Even if lines are really long and you are annoyed at airport security, refrain from making any statements or drawing attention to yourself. In most cities airport security will work with the airlines to be sure that disgruntled travelers are not allowed to travel if they make statements about airline security, make a scene, behave inappropriately, or antagonize security personnel with false statements. Arrive at the airport well in advance of your flight so that long lines at the security checkpoint won’t stress you out and hold you back even more than they have to when your aggravation gets the best of you.
When you deplane at your destination, you’ll find that your security issues are not over. Now, when you check baggage you’ll be given baggage claim tickets. At most airports you’ll find that you cannot leave with your baggage until you provide your claim tickets that match your luggage. So, keep track of your baggage claim tickets to expedite your bag claim process.
Airport security is something that we should all be aware of and respect, even if we feel as though it slows us down. Air travel since 9/11 is different than it once was, and though we may feel irritated at the sight of long lines at a security checkpoint, it’s in everyone’s best interest that these checkpoints continue and that we all comply.
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