Airport security changes for peak summer air travel


It's the time of year to escape, pack up and leave home on summer vacation. The peak travel season is well underway, but rules for airport screenings have changed -- again. – ‘Tis the season to take off and head for summer fun.

Of course, before you board you must go through airport security, which can sometimes be a real headache.

Just ask Scott Adams, who is in charge of 24 travelers headed to Africa on a mission trip.

"We made sure nobody will be surprised when we get to security," Adams said. "We know what's allowed in carry-on bags and what needs to be checked."

What's the No. 1 thing that will get you through security lines faster? Be prepared. Have your ID handy and take off any clothing you need to remove to go through the screening.

But some rules have changed since last summer.

The Transportation Security Administration does not require children 12 and under or adults 75 and older to remove their shoes when going through security. Passengers in those age groups also no longer have to remove light jackets or hats.

And what about those full body scanners?

Remember, they will detect anything in your pockets -- not just metal. Children, however, don't have to go through them.

"For the children, we will put them through our walk-through metal detector," said Leo Vasquez Jr., federal security director with TSA. "They don't have to go through the body imaging scanner unless they want to."

When you're packing, don't forget the 3-1-1 rule.

That means no liquids, gels or aerosols in larger than 3 oz. containers are allowed. They must fit into a single 1 quart sized plastic bag for screening.

For Adams, preparing for air travel ahead of time is crucial. After going over all the necessary steps with his group, he can concentrate on keeping a head count.

"That's what's in my head right now," he said, "making sure nobody gets lost!"

Come early, be prepared, and you can get lost in your summer travel plans a whole lot faster.

About the Author: