Augusta Regional sees minimal delays under new carryon restrictions

By: Domonique Benn
By: Domonique Benn

August 10, 2006

Because of today's thwarted terrorist plot, there are new restrictions for people flying out of US airports.

Travelers boarding any commercial flight at US airports are now not allowed to carry any liquids, including beverages, hair gels and lotions, even toothpaste, onto the plane.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the terrorists planned to carry liquid explosives and detonators "disguised as beverages, electronic devices or other common objects."

Experts say the plot has the look of an al Qaeda operation, and it has boosted the security alert to the second highest level for all domestic and international flights from the US.

In our area, it's no different, as travelers leaving Augusta Regional Airport had the option to either check any liquid or gel substances or throw them away.

But aside from that, there were no delays or cancelled flights.

Not much different at Augusta Regional Airport except that the elevated threat level has moved from code yellow to code orange, or high alert.

Augusta regional airport marketing director Diane Johnston says there are minimal visible changes.

"The biggest item they are going to see is they will not be allowed to carry any type of liquid on board the aircraft in their carry-on baggage," she says.

Thursday morning, 21 people were arrested in London as they planned to use some type of liquid explosion to blow up international flights headed to the United States.

Shortly after the plot was foiled, the US government banned any type of liquid and gel from carryon bags.

"We made sure we had all of the aerosols and liquids in the correct bags," said traveler Herb Humphries.

James: "We made sure that we took our toothpaste and lotions and all of those items out of our bag," said traveler Michael James.

PFC Scott Torstrup found out about the changes as he arrived at the airport.

"I bring it, and they made me throw it away because there was some disturbing news," he said.

And though disturbing, the situation has not stopped Americans from traveling.

"I think Homeland Security is doing a pretty good job," Humphries said. "We haven't had any major problems since 9-11."

If you have any questions about your flight or travel, you should call your airline.


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