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Holiday Travel Guide | Nation's Airports

Across the Country, Restrictions Vary

November 18, 2001

Flyin for the holidays? It may be unsettling to learn that not all the nation's airports have exactly the same security measures. Every airport bans sharp objects in carry-ons, but Phoenix, for example, has gone one step further by asking passengers not to carry talcum powder (or other white powdeder substances) aboard planes. If you are flying out of Southern California, don't assume the rules at the airport to return from will be the smae. Here is a brief roundup of what to expect at selected major airports.


Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport (404) 209-1700

Hartsfield suggests passengers check with their airline on when to arrive at the airport, how e-tickets are handled and whether curbside check-in is permitted. The airport also advises passengers leaving from Hartsfield to add two hours to check-in time.

Traffic lanes nearest the terminal building remain closed, and people dropping travelers off at the airport should use one of the short-term parking lots to avoid being ticketed. Vehicles may be searched before parking.

--Edith Stanley


Logan International Airport (800) 23-LOGAN (235-6426)

Since Sept. 11, the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates Logan airport, has come up with comprehensive security recommendations for travelers, ranging from packing tips to ID and check-in requirements at the airport. Travelers should expect more security personnel and be ready for a hand search of bags before boarding.

Prescriptions, jewelry, travel documents and IDs should be packed in carry-on luggage. IDs and travel documents should be kept easily accessible for review at the check-in counter, security checkpoints and the gate.

Small amounts of toiletries such as hair spray or shaving cream (no more than 16 ounces per container, 75 ounces total) are allowed but should be put in checked luggage to avoid delays at security screenings. Perfume is allowed in carry-ons, but only in containers of 16 ounces or less. There is no curbside parking.

-- Anna M. Virtue


O'Hare International Airport (773) 686-2200

O'Hare requires two forms of government-issued ID--driver's license, government-issued ID card, birth certificate, passport--at ticket counters. The airport warns travelers to expect longer lines and waiting times--some more than an hour--at security checkpoints. Additional searches are being conducted at the gate. All parking lots are open.

The airport advises passengers to call their airline for up-to-date information.

--John Beckham


Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (972) 574-8888

Besides the National Guard, canine patrols in the parking lots and terminal restaurants with only plastic cutlery, here's what travelers at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport can expect:

Passengers can be picked up or dropped off at terminal curbsides as long as someone stays in the car. Airport police are stationed at terminal garages and may conduct random searches of cars. Airport garages with 17,000 parking spaces are open, but the first rows of parking on the upper and lower levels are closed. The closed sections include one-hour parking and spaces for the disabled. Handicapped parkers must go to reduced-rate lots farther from the terminal or to an off-site shuttle lot.

Passengers may be randomly selected to have checked baggage screened by a bomb-detecting machine, and boarding passes will be held until the luggage clears the machine.

The airport recently installed 35-gallon barrels at each of its 17 security checkpoints in four terminals for travelers to get rid of banned items before going through the metal detector. They are meant to speed security checks, and once something is put into a big black barrel, it cannot be retrieved. The barrels are emptied once a day, and their contents destroyed.

"A lot of people haven't traveled since Sept. 11," said Ken Capps, vice president of public affairs at DFW airport. To assist passengers, hundreds of volunteer "holiday helpers" dressed in red, white and blue shirts will roam the terminals.

--Lianne Hart


Denver International Airport (800) 247-2336

DIA has set up a telephone line, (303) DIA-TIPS (342-8477), to provide the most current average waiting times at the airport's three security screening checkpoints. Waiting times for passenger security screening are unpredictable and can be lengthy, airport officials say; they recommend that passengers arrive at the airport no later than three hours before the flight. There is an express line at screening points for passengers with no carry-ons.

At security checkpoints, airport officials advise passengers to remove all metal (jewelry, watches, buckles, coins, pens) and electronic devices before walking through the scanners. All electronic devices will be X-rayed, and all laptop computers must be removed from their cases and X-rayed at checkpoints.

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