Since the tragic events of 9/11, Airports have taken great strides to ensure the safety of their measures. Many new security measures have been implemented that travelers should be aware of before going to the airport.
The following is a list of important security essentials that travelers should know when they go to the airport:
1. Because of the security measures that have been implemented, one may expect longer security check lines so checking in for the flight may take longer than in the past. Airports recommend that you arrive at the airport about two hours before your scheduled flight.
2. The first checkpoint is registering for your plane seat. You will have to show your boarding pass and a form of identification such as a driver’s license or a government issued identification card.
3. When you arrive at the security check point, you will be required to put your carry-on bag through the scanner. There will be a bin for placing your coat that will be scanned before you walk through the metal detector. Before going through the metal detector, you will have to remove any items you are wearing and put them in a bin for scanning. Some airports now have — shoe sniff — devices that analyze your shoes for the presence of explosive materials. If the scanner picks up something unusual, you and your bag will be searched. The security agent may pass a wand with a removable filter that will test for explosive residue.
4. X-ray body imaging machines at airports, called backscatter devices, are being installed in up to 30 airports. The machines are intended to replace the physical pat-down some passengers receive.
5. In August, 2006, rules were implemented to allow passengers on US and European flights to carry only 3 ounces/100 ml of liquids or gels through airport security in a clear Ziploc type plastic bag. Beverages purchased in the airport after clearing security are allowed. You are permitted to bring more than 100ml of baby formula, baby food, milk, or juice prescription and essential non-prescription medicines. You must declare these items at the security check desk.
6. Items that are considered weapons are banned such as knives, tools, pepper spray, and scissors. As well, loose batteries are not allowed on the flight. Lithium ion batteries in cell phones and laptops are allowed. You may not pack loose lithium batteries in your checked baggage, but spare lithium batteries are permitted in carry-on baggage. It is important to check with the airport if you have a concern about what items you are bringing.
7. Other security areas being enhanced include random screening of employees, stronger air cargo security measures, additional canine patrols, more thorough identity verification, deploying more trained security officers in bomb appraisal, and improved screening by observation techniques.
Many travelers do not think they have to worry about security checks, however, if you are caught with a banned item, you could be fined and even prosecuted. The last thing you want to happen is to be prevented from boarding your flight, or even worse, end up on the ‘no fly’ list.