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Allow time for checks at airport



Published: Sun, January 27, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Even shoes and bottled drinks undergo inspection.

Once again, airline travelers should plan to arrive at the airport about two hours before departure.

During a round trip to Denver and back to Cleveland Hopkins Airport last weekend, we found increased delays in passing through security to reach departure gates.

Passengers are asked to show government issued identification along with their airplane tickets during luggage check in, at the security entrance and again before boarding.

While traveling with family members, I was asked to remove my shoes and to submit to inspection by a metal detecting wand. I was also patted down on the torso and legs to assure that no contraband was hidden.

What took place: Bags and backpacks were searched as well as scanned. Laptop computers are opened and inspected. Even our 12-year-old daughter was asked to take a sip from the Pepsi bottle she carried.

In Denver early Monday the line to pass through security took nearly one hour. The bus driver from the rental car company said earlier passengers reported a two-hour wait to get to departure gates.

Newly enforced FAA guidelines require airlines to match luggage loaded with boarded passengers. Our flight in Denver was delayed 30 minutes while workers searched to remove baggage of passengers who either did not board the plane or were bumped to another flight.

While no one openly complained about delays due to security, many expressed frustration with the process.

The best advice for airline travel is to arrive early, bring a good book and plenty of food. Soft drinks and small snack bags were the only fare offered on the three-hour trip.




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