Travelers Should Plan Extra Time for Security and Carry-on Scrutiny

Wednesday, November 24th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

This weekend, a commercial airliner could be regarded as the other Thanksgiving bird. A record 20 million people will fly home this holiday weekend. But there are some new bottlenecks on the flight to grandmother's house this year. Tighter security is one. The other roadblock may be the size of the bag you’re taking with you. "We've heard of people dragging their washer and dryer down the jet-way. Of course, that's obviously a safety hazard on the airplane,” said Southwest Airlines Tulsa station manager Greg Golden. “You don't want to get hit in the back of the head with an oversized bag."

Southwest and other airlines put their solution at the security checkpoint. Most jam-packed bags barely slip through. If they don't, passengers can't carry on the bag and have to check it, which means a round-trip to the check-in counter. Behind the scenes security measures are slowing down the process, which means allowing plenty of extra time is a must. "It takes a little bit longer to do the transactions,” Golden said. “It's not really anything we can speed up. So, if you get to the airport a little earlier, it's going to get you on the airplane quicker."