Holiday Time Means Tighter Security and Long Lines at Tulsa International

Wednesday, December 22nd 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tighter security is ordered at the Tulsa International Airport during one of the busiest times of the year. The combination of more security and more travelers could cause delays. Travelers will notice a more thorough examination of their bags, more stringent enforcement of the parking rules and longer lines.

Charlie and Sunny Rufo and their children were flying to Beumont, Texas to visit family over the holidays. They arrived 45 minutes before their flight and parked the car. They were carrying only a few bags with them, which meant they had no problem making it to the gate in time to board the airplane.

But others are running into trouble, because they parked curbside to drop off passengers and left the car. They received a parking ticket due to security concerns. "Travelers will see more uniformed officers throughout the terminal and more use of K-9 dogs checking baggage," said Tulsa Airports director Brent Kitchen.

Travelers can also expect to stand in long lines, since the higher security comes at one of the busiest travel times of the year. "Infrequent travelers should be here an hour and a half to two hours ahead of time to negotiate the airport,” explained Kitchen. “The lines will be longer. It just takes more time to process."

The security checkpoint was crowded with holiday travelers and many of the flyers had gifts in hand and small children in tow. But thanks to prior planning, the Rufo’s made it to the gate quickly, in plenty of time to catch their flight. "My wife’s one of those people who had her Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving,” said Rufo. “She had everything packed last night. Me, being the traveling dog I am, packed this morning. Then we threw the bags in the car and raced to the airport."