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Holiday Travelers Face Long Lines, New Rules

Posted November 22, 2006

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— About 30,000 people are expected to fly into or out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport Wednesday in advance of Thanksgiving.

It is the first major travel day since the U.S. Transportation Security Administration implemented new rules for carry-on luggage two months ago.

A terrorist threat over the summer prompted the TSA to prohibit air travelers from bringing any liquids, gels or aerosols onto airplanes. The government relaxed that rule in September after inspectors determined that small amounts of those substances did not pose a threat.

The TSA has issued "3-1-1" guidelines for passengers, allowing them to carry 3-ounce bottles of shampoo, lotion and other toiletries in a one-quart, clear plastic, zip-top bag. Each passengers is allowed only one such bag in his or her carry-on luggage, and other items must be in checked baggage.

RDU officials issued other tips to help speed people through check-in and security lines Wednesday:

  • Arrive early. Travelers should arrive at the airport two hours before their flight departs.
  • Check your flight status before heading to the airport.
  • Limit carry-on items. Each traveler is permitted to take one bag and one personal item, such as a purse or briefcase, through the security checkpoint.
  • Follow electronic signs throughout the airport to available parking.
  • Print out boarding passes from airline Web sites. Most airlines allow passengers to print their boarding pass before coming to the airport.
  • Be prepared for the security checkpoint. Before proceeding through the metal detector, remove coats, jackets, blazers and shoes. All metal objects, including cell phones and pagers, should be placed in carry-on luggage or in the containers provided at the checkpoint.
  • Keep boarding passes and photo identification visible. The IDs are needed throughout the security screening process.

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