Security checkpoint changes now in effect at the Tulsa International Airport

Thursday, December 22nd 2005, 11:22 am
By: News On 6

There are some big changes for airport security across the country Thursday. Small sharp objects like scissors and screwdrivers that were prohibited before will now be allowed back on board.

Screeners instead will do more random body searches and focus on finding large-scale explosives. But it's not the best timing, as thousands of travelers get ready to take to the terminals.

News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson says last month, Tulsa International Airport saw a 12-percent bump, compared to passenger counts from last Thanksgiving. Airport administrators expect that trend to continue through the New Year.

That means more people going through security, while screeners try to implement sweeping changes. People flying out this Christmas should expect more pat-downs and handwanding, and more searches through your carry-on.

The switch at security will only "add" to the time it takes at the ticket counter and checking your luggage. Don and his son Spencer are flying to Phoenix for Christmas. They showed up an hour-and-a-half early and scheduled a noon flight, to make sure they got where they're going on time. Spencer: "I'm looking forward to Christmas Day.” Don: "Security really isn't bad this time of day. Earlier in the morning - around six o'clock, lines are just crazy."

The airport says under normal circumstances, an hour before is all the earlier you need to be at the airport. But this weekend, with the heavier passenger load, and new security rules, you better make it an hour-and-a-half, if not a little more.