Be alert and report any suspicious activity to airport security.
Arrive early to allow for plenty of time to make it through security. Allow even more time when traveling with infants, young children, elderly or disabled passengers.
Appreciate the fact that the security officers are taking time to insure that you will be safe.
Always be courteous, quiet, cooperative and follow instructions and requests.
Answer questions thoroughly, but don’t tell a long story. Be clear, complete and concise.
NEVER joke about terrorism, bombs, guns, hijacking or any issue that is of concern to airport security. Jokes are inappropriate and could possibly get you into serious trouble.
Always pack your own luggage. Be ready to answer questions about who packed your bags, if your bags were left unattended at any time, if you accepted items from anyone to carry on the plane or if you are carrying any dangerous or questionable items.
Carry appropriate identification and documentation readily available for inspection. The airline will deny boarding to any passenger that fails to produce proper I.D.
If possible, complete security forms and/or customs declarations in advance.
If a passport is necessary, be certain that it is valid and completely filled out with updated information.
Be ready to show a contact name and phone number if asked when travelling on an international flight.
Be clear on the items that you pack and wear. Find out what’s allowed on board and what’s not. Items that you might consider harmless may be limited in the amounts allowed or be prohibited completely.
Avoid carrying wrapped packages. Security will want to open them if X-raying can't identify the contents. Wait to wrap gifts until after you arrive at your destination.
Try not to over pack. Cramming too many items into your bags will make inspection more difficult. If they need to pull everything out, it will take more time for you to repack after the security check.
Remember that all checked bags and carry-ons are subject to a hand-search.
Avoid embarrassment for security and yourself. If you would feel uncomfortable if certain items were pulled out of your bags in a public area, it's probably a good idea to leave them at home.
Try to keep your luggage and all other possessions together.
NEVER leave your bags unattended or out of your sight.
Never leave your vehicle unattended in loading or unloading zones. Park only in legitimate parking spaces. Parking rules will be strictly enforced and your car will probably be ticketed and towed incurring a heavy fine.
Don't be dumb enough to accept gifts or packages from strangers !
Keep clear of abandoned or unattended bags. Report them to security as soon as possible.
If your luggage is locked, make sure the keys are easily available in case the bags need to be inspected.
Mark luggage in a way that it will be easily to identify. Be creative. Use something that will make your bags unique. Avoid ribbons or tags that might get caught on a conveyor belt. Brightly colored tape or decals work nicely.
Don’t wait to pick up your luggage upon arrival. You may find that someone else has already picked it up when you get there !
Security checkpoints are very sensitive, which is the good news! Passenger safety is no joke and the airport is no place for bad jokes.
Comments about bombs, terrorism, guns etc., if heard by any airline or airport personnel must and will be taken seriously.
Arrests have been made of people who think that they are being funny. Take things seriously at any airport facility. Penalties may include heavy fines and serious jail time.
If you think it's funny to tell a security guard to check your friends bag because he might have a gun, plan for it to happen! Unfortunately, there will also be questions, interrogation and long delays you both.
Don't try to add excitement to the long lines by telling the check-in agent or security person that someone dangerous or mentally unstable helped pack your bag. You really don't want that kind of excitement in your life. Airline personnel will take comments very seriously, unless and until they can be proven false. By that time you're going to be in a world of hurt!
Old, trite jokes about having a few drinks with the pilot or something equally asinine will probably get you a seat on a much later flight, after lengthy questioning and a possible body search. At best you'll probably delay the flight and get to ride with100 + annoyed people. Remember to make sure that your mouth and brain are both working before you use them !
All flights in U.S. airspace were ordered to land at the nearest airport. International flights that had not yet entered U.S. airspace were sent back to their origin or diverted to other countries.
Every commercial and private airport in the United States was closed.
All U.S. airport facilities and aircraft were thoroughly searched, secured and inspected.
Before reopening, all airports had to undergo new stricter security procedures and pass inspection by the F.A.A. to confirm that they were in place. All airlines were required to pass safety inspections before their flights were allowed to resume service.
After airports were reopened and flights approved to operate, each airline was given the discretion to decide when it would actually resume service.
Curbside check-in using skycaps and off-airport check-in was suspended indefinitely at all U.S. airports. For domestic flights, these services have been re-instated at most airports. If in doubt call your airline to be sure.
Airport security now watches vehicles more closely and restricts parking to keep vehicles at greater distance from terminal buildings. Regulations concerning vehicles parked near airport terminals is now much more strictly enforced.
More thorough searches of passenger’s belongings, as well as more physical checks of the passengers are standard.
Only ticketed passengers are allowed past airport security checkpoints and into the gate areas. Passengers using E-tickets must have some form of paperwork from the airline, in addition to their PIN number to be allowed through security.
Knives, sharp objects or any cutting instruments are now added to the list of items you are prohibited on-board an aircraft. They may now only be carried in checked baggage. Airlines no longer provide metal utensils for on-board food service. Airport food services no longer provide metal utensils or knives to their customers and vendors no longer sell knifes or sharp objects.
Uniformed as well as undercover law enforcement officers, along with highly trained canine teams have increased dramatically at all U.S. airports.
Federal marshals and deputies, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Agents and other skilled law officers have been added to the busiest airports to assist with tighter security measures. Military personnel patrol both inside and outside of many airports.
The F.A.A. has placed armed, undercover Federal Air Marshals on many domestic and international flights.
All passengers must present a valid government issued photo I.D., such as a driver’s license, at check-in and will also be required to present it at security and possibly again at the boarding gate.
Each airline is different. Check with your airline if you are concerned about anything listed below.
Airlines have limited carry-on baggage and their contents. They encourage passengers to check more bags. Contact the individual airline for updated information on their policy.
Many airlines have restricted their programs that allow unaccompanied minors to travel.
Some Airlines have suspended or restricted programs that allow the transportation of pets. Service animals are probably OK, but check with the airline for any updates regarding both in-cabin and cargo hold carriage of animals on flights.
A few have suspended or restricted their mail and cargo programs.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has appointed two new committees that will specialize on air travel security. One will focus on airport security and the other on airline security issues. They are open to consider any improvements in air travel safety. Some of the issues that are under review are :
Airport security screeners are now required to meet higher standards. The F.A.A already has a put in a rule that gives them direct oversight of screening contractors who supply security personnel. This imposes new more strict standards for training and testing of screeners. The rule also requires the use of new software that will monitor how well each screener is detecting dangerous objects. Contractors whose screeners fail to meet F.A.A. detection standards will lose their certification to perform airport security.
The U.S. Government is considering taking over the entire security screener workforce. Most security and terrorism experts believe that taking this step is necessary.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is working with the U.S. Department of Defense to see the military could be deployed to supplement the Federal Air Marshal force until the numbers can be increased.
The F.A.A. has required that cockpit doors on all commercial aircraft be bullet and grenade proof.
While matching luggage with passengers has been common in most other countries, it is just now being done by U.S. carriers. This means that if you check luggage and fail to actually board the plane, your bags are located and removed. This is a deterrent to anyone planning to put a dangerous object in their checked luggage. They would have to fly on the same plane that carries that dangerous item or not fly at all..
Many other measures may never be announced to the public. Some of the most effective are the ones that no one knows about.
Any personal concerns or suggestions regarding improvement of airport security should be brought to the attention of the F.A.A. and your elected representatives.
Today, only ticketed passengers with an acceptable photo I.D. are allowed beyond the security checkpoint. The Federal Aviation Administration allows airlines to determine what documentation (paper ticket, boarding pass, PIN number etc.) it will allow, which means that you will find some differences in individual procedures. Check with the airline in advance if you have an E-ticket because you will need something to get you through security and into the gate areas. Computer generated boarding passes or gate passes should be sufficient, or paperwork issued at the check-in counter when you check your luggage. It must indicate a flight number, departure time and destination, along with "record locator" and name that matches your I.D. to allow you to pass through security.
They are the Federal Aviation Administration’s civil aviation security specialists They are specially trained for deployment on anti-hijacking missions. They had been deployed only on international flights, but now be cover select domestic flights. Federal Air Marshals are armed and trained in the use of firearms on board aircraft. They carry various weapons and fly undercover and anonymously. The FAA is careful not to reveal the identities of the Marshals or the number in their service for obvious reasons.
Not normally. Only passengers with a ticket for travel on that particular day will be allowed beyond the security checkpoint and into the gate areas. Airlines do make special provisions for persons with disabilities. Anyone who needs to be accompanied by a health care assistant or parents who need to meet unaccompanied minors may be allowed with advance notification. If your situation falls into one of these categories, contact the airline for special assistance. Anyone else should plan to meet arriving passengers outside of security, possibly in the baggage area.
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