Well, I'm traveling again. A co-worker and I had to fly for the first time since British authorities stopped terrorists from following through on blowing up transatlantic flights, and they are still working on it. As you can imagine, the airport experience is somewhat different now.
Bear in mind, prior to the events in the UK, some 60% of air travelers NEVER checked a single bag. Now, if they have any liquids, that bag has to be checked. On top of this, these travelers now have to stand in line to check in with the previous 40% that were already checking bags. Sadly, all of this extra work is being handled by the same number of airline employees. If you thought you were going to lose your bags before, the airlines now have roughly twice the number of bags to choose from when they decide to misroute your luggage.
Anyway, all of the above contributed to our first impressions at the airport this past Sunday. Riding the shuttle from Long Term parking we got caught in traffic just trying to get to the terminal to be dropped off. When we were finally dropped off at the airport, the lines were very obvious. We entered the terminal and headed to the Northwest ticket counter. Thankfully, we were on Northwest for this flight and not USAirways. Since our home airport is Charlotte, NC, flying USAirways (the hub airline) could have been miserable when I saw their line.
Northwest has a minor presence in Charlotte, some 6 check-in kiosks. However, when you have a couple hundred passengers on any given flight, you can imagine the lines. We waited in line nearly 30 minutes (for a MINOR carrier) before we could check in. God bless those poor souls over at the USAirways counter. Surprisingly, our progress through Security was pretty painless, but there are a few things you need to remember.
- No fluids - drinks, makeup (for you ladies), lotion, etc
- Take off your shoes - Now required...even with the puffer machines
- BE PATIENT - Allow for extra time.
- You can buy beverages once you pass Security, but you MUST consume them before boarding the plane. No fluids purchased in the airport can go on the plane.
So, if you fly, bring lots of patience and nothing to drink. We fly home at the end of the week, so I'll post if I notice anything else.
Now Playing: "In The Light" by StorySide: B
Technorati: air travel, security, business travel, airport security