Home TIPS Senior Travelers Need To Heed Airport Security
Senior Travelers Need To Heed Airport Security PDF Print E-mail

Senior travel reporter RRE, Little Rock AK: No matter where you are and what you're doing in most air terminals, you can assume at least one camera is watching you. On a recent arrival to check in for a flight out of Las Vegas, we stopped just inside the terminal to get our bearings.

We noticed a stack of four suitcases just a few feet away. At that instant, two burly airport cops and a huge German Shepherd dog came rushing over. They swooped up the nearby unattended bags and were gone up the nearby escalator before we could say or do anything.

Then, no more than a minute later, a distressed woman was in the empty area where her bags had been. She said she had only left them for a short time to get some info from an airline counter, about 20 feet away. We told her about the cops' quick grab, and she went dashing, crying and cursing up the escalator.

Later, as we made our way to the security area, we told them what had happened. They proudly assured us that every square foot of the entire Vegas terminal was covered by all-seeing cameras. The woman had committed the offense of leaving her bags unattended, even if for a minute or less. They said it cost her a fine of $500 to get her bags returned.

That's just one example of what you can expect whenever you enter an airport terminal these days. You’ll avoid trouble by just following the posted rules, and the cameras will protect you. Disobey the rules, and the cameras will nail you.

Of course, the most critical moment each traveler must face in airport security is when going through the frisking and searching ordeals. It’s vitally important that you read and understand in advance what is expected when in that line, including what you may or may not take on the flight. The list changes frequently, so it’s your responsibility to keep up on the info.

On another recent flight, after my companion's carry-on went through the x-ray process, she was pulled aside. They did the electronic stick search of her entire body, and then began on her opened bag. Clothing and other items went flying all around, as they seemed to be looking for something very dangerous. Other guards came over and joined in the clothing-in-the-air toss.

I had visions of visiting her in Alcatraz for carrying something dangerous. The reason for the intensive search was that mercury, a banned substance, was detected inside. Mercury is often used in explosives, hence she was a suspect in transporting dangerous materials.

Moments later, one of the cops triumphantly held up the offending article ... a tiny medical thermometer. With nervous laughs all around, and without the thermometer, we were permitted to board our flight.

Whenever you fly today, you can expect delays and searches. We all know it’s so tight because suicidal maniacs are holding world travelers hostage. Those nutcases believe blowing up commercial airliners and themselves is the way to qualify for their 72 virgins. We should obey the rules and be thankful to airport security for keeping flying safe.


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