Monday, September 9, 2013

9/11/2001: Over a decade later, still tweaking the response

Wednesday marks the 12th year since the horrible tragedies of September 11, 2001.  This week, we are dedicating our blog posts to the men, women, and children who died or lost family members or loved ones as a result of the plane crashes or as part of the rescue and recovery work.

Our world changed that day, and every time we travel, we see the effects of the events of that day.  We recently spoke with someone who hasn’t flown since before 9/11 and were thinking of the differences in air travel compared to before.  From how you pack and what you can (or cannot) bring in your carry-on bag to what you can (or cannot) wear through airport security, the rules have changed.  While the rules and regulations may be a nuisance for passengers, I think we understand the reactiveness to the situation.  It has taken over a decade of adaptation and tweaking to find a balance between being reactive and being over-reactive.  And while it’s not there yet, every time we have flown, we notice subtle changes in the TSA screening protocol.  For example, last month we noticed signs that said passengers age 75 and older can leave on their shoes and light jackets through the security checkpoints.  And kids under age 12 can leave their shoes on now, too.  We even noticed in one airport that the TSA security checkpoint had a “family line” so that parents and children could go through the screening area as a group.

So while there is still the nuisance of having to check a bag if you want to bring your full-sized toothpaste or shampoo, or having to pay exorbitant prices for bottles of water or soda once you’ve passed through screening areas, it’s good to see some changes that make that part of the trip a little easier.

As always, it is a good idea to check the TSA’s website for any updates to security guidelines.  It’s better to know what to expect before you get to the airport than to have to throw something away you wanted to keep.


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