All it takes it one crazy to really screw with all your travel plans. Like it wasn’t bad enough that we all had to ditch our shoes at security (“No, I don’t have a weapon, but I’m pretty sure I may have picked up athlete’s foot.”), but now here comes a whole new list of no-no’s just in time for your trip back to campus after the holidays.
According to the New York Times, new homeland security rules have already been initiated following a terrorist suspect’s attempt to detonate an explosive device during a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day. So what can you expect for your return flight? In a word, be prepared for anything.
International Flights: Expect extra pat-downs, additional x-rays on luggage, and being forced to hold your bladder in check an hour before your flight lands. Also, you’re not going to be allowed to have anything on your lap one hour before landing either. This means forget iPods, purses, laptops, and possibly books and magazines. Note: Only one carry-on item will be allowed per passenger, so be prepared to pay extra to stick your stuff in the back of the plane – or just save yourself the hassle and ship your gifts home instead.
Domestic Flights: Make it point to stop at the airport bar BEFORE your flight, because it’s going to be the only way you’re going to be able to deal with the super-secretive, unexplainable tricks your airline may have up its sleeve. The TSA wants to keep would-be terrorists on their toes, so the same rules may not apply from one airport to another. Expect WAY longer security lines and other weird/annoying quirks to make your travel time less tolerable (like night flights requiring all overhead lights on for the duration of the trip).
For a more detailed report on the new restrictions, make sure you check out the TSA‘s website before you head to the airport.