Most of the concerns raised by the media concerning passengers getting on planes post 9/11 are nothing but hype. It is not necessary to arrive two or more hours before your flight time, however, at certain peak travel periods that is sound advice. In fact, getting through security now can be faster than it was in the past since TSA (airport security) aims to process passengers as quickly as possible. By adhering to the following points, you will be assured a stress-free experience getting from the ticket counter to your airplane seat.
The first problem you may encounter while checking in may be a problem with your luggage. Generally, airlines do not allow more than 50 pounds in each bag with an allowance of 2 pieces of luggage per passenger. You should check the website of the airline you are flying for these details and be warned that costs for exceeding baggage limits, even by one pound, range from $25 to $125 or more.
The second thing that may cause you trouble is locking your luggage. After checking in, it is now required that TSA search the luggage. If they encounter a locked bag they are required to page the passenger to return to the counter and unlock the luggage. If this happens, you may have to walk all the way back from your gate or concourse restaurant and end up going through a security checkpoint – again. If you feel that locking your luggage is necessary, you can buy TSA-friendly locks throughout most airports. These can be opened and closed by the TSA agents and you can present your bags to check-in fully locked.
So you have checked your luggage, got your boarding pass and now comes the hard part, getting through the checkpoint. This can be effortless by doing the following. Do not put items such as knives, weapons of any kind, fireworks, or harmful chemicals in your carry-on. Bans on lighters and matches are constantly changing within TSA and it is best to check the TSA website if you need these items. In general, butane lighters and strike-anywhere matches are prohibited and no more than two bic-style lighters or match books should be on your person.
Also, while waiting in line, be sure to remove all metallic-items from your pockets and if you are wearing dress shoes, take them off. They will probably have a metal shank that will set off the alarm. Coats cannot be worn through a checkpoint and if you are bringing a laptop, take it out of its case. It is also important to have your boarding pass and identification out to be checked both by an employee who tends to the security line and the TSA agents manning the walk-through metal detector.
Should you set off alarms and require further screening do not worry. It will typically take no more than two minutes and is not invasive in any way. You will just be required to move to the side and an agent will use a hand-held metal detector to determine if you are carrying a dangerous object. Something that may affect you is the government’s selectee program. This program assigns people, randomly and non-randomly, as selectees. All this means is that TSA needs to conduct a quick additional search on you. This can and will happen to anyone, no matter how you look. There is no need to worry and by complying with TSA you will be on your plane on time and without problems.
Travelling does not need to be a frightening event and if you familiarize yourself with necessary airport procedures you will find that there is nothing to worry about. Unless you plan on endangering security in some way, you will make your flight and be on the way to a great trip.The frisking that you go through during customs maybe quite irksome at times but very few people realize that it is for their own benefits, especially after a catastrophe like 9/11, which shook the world to its core. Only the elite class can afford private jet charter flights while the lesser privileged have to go through all the regular procedures which is part and parcel of airport security.