Travel Safety – Part 1: Top Airport Security Tips
Airports are another haven for criminals. In the parking lot lurks the car thief and the mugger. Throughout the terminal are the scam artists and the pickpockets. In the baggage claim area are the baggage thieves. The 9-11 tragedy was a humbling event that has made all passengers much more accommodating to security personnel and their screening methods.Follow these top airport security tips to keep your travel experience simple:
- Follow FAA guidelines. Dos and don’ts for travel safety and airport security have been implemented and revised since the 9-11 tragedy. There is no flexibility in these rules.
- During security screening be alert to anyone around you who is nervous, perspiring, impatient, or argumentative. With the new FAA orders in place, it’s common knowledge that screening will take a while. So anyone not complying with the new rules to any degree should raise a red flag.
- If you must check your luggage, wait to see it go into the “chute” after it is taken from you.
- When booking your reservation, get a seat at the front of the plane so you can get to baggage claim quickly. That’s because luggage is either carried on, lost, or stolen, or—if you are lucky—waiting at baggage claim.
- Never accept anything from strangers and watch your luggage. Someone may be looking for the opportunity could hide bombs or drugs in your bags. Terrorists can conceal plastic explosives or other lethal weapons in articles that someone would ordinarily purchase at the terminal newsstand, such as a book, soda can, candy bar, or magazine. Such devices can be wired with components from cell phones, and when called from the ground moments after takeoff can trigger an explosion.
- Ignore other people arguing and strangers who are overly friendly. These could be staged distractions to make it easier for a thief or pickpocket to rob you.
- Be alert to anyone in the baggage claim area paying undue attention to you.
- Don’t let anyone help you with your airport locker (if you can even find one nowadays). Someone might insert quarters for you to appear helpful but then give you a different key without your knowledge.
- Be aware of any contact with others, even if it is a good deed they are doing. They could be setting you up.
- Trust your gut. Instincts play a huge role in your personal safety.