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Travel Guide - Airport Security Checkpoints

Aug 17, 2007
Airport security rules have changed drastically in recent years. With air travel increasing greatly around the holidays anyone considering going this route is well advised to familiarize themselves with new rules put in place where they may cause the most delays. Namely airport security checkpoints.

Most passengers may think there is only one security checkpoint, when in reality there are usually three. This may vary from airport to airport but this seems to be the rule for most.

The first checkpoint will be when you register for your seat on the plane. You will need to show at least one proper form of identification. Usually a drivers license or a government issued identification card will suffice. You will then be given your boarding pass.

This is also the time when you will need to hand over the luggage that you will be checking for storage below the plane. These are commonly referred to as checked bags or luggage. To avoid delays you should check with the airline for specific items that may be banned or prohibited. In the past, only a small number of bags were hand checked, but now almost all are.

Many of these checks are quick look-overs, but you may be subject to a random, extensive search. This search often includes the checking of all baggage compartments, as well as the wiping of a cloth, which is looking for powdery substances.

Once through this stage you will encounter the main airport security checkpoint. This is where you will be asked to have your carryon luggage xrayed and you will have to go through a metal detector. Also currently all travelers are being asked to remove their shoes to have them xrayed too. In the past people where picked randomly for this excercise but now the only exception is of those with a disability or hindering medical condition.

Again, by familiarizing yourself with the items that are banned aboard an airplane, including items that are only prohibited from being stored in your carryon luggage, an unnecessary incident can be prevented.

In the event that you are found carrying a prohibited item, certain steps will be taken. Depending on the item in question, you may be required to return the item to you car, discard it, mail it to your home, or turn it over to airport security. Ensuring that you leave all prohibited items at home is the best way to prevent this unnecessary delay, which may cause you to miss your flight or even worse scenarios.

There is one final checkpoint to pass before boarding your flight. When entering the airport terminal, after your airline has granted permission for passengers to board, you will need to present airline officials with the appropriate boarding pass. At this time you may need to show your identification again. However, it is not always necessary.

It is best that you stay calm during all airport checkpoints, including the final boarding stage. Most travelers are easily able to board their airplane, but in the event that you are acting suspicious or drawing unwanted attention to yourself you may be pulled aside. So leave the anxieties at the door.

By being prepared and knowledgeable about what is and is not acceptable before ever entering the airport you will avoid unwanted delays and experience a much more pleasant flight.
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