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Travel Troubles

By: Philip Stewart
By: Philip Stewart
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August 10, 2006

It was a big day today when it was announced that a terrorist threat was foiled in England. This means big things for future travel. Things went pretty smoothly at CHO today, but passengers at other airports around the country weren't so lucky.

"It was a zoo when I got there," said Naomi Johansen. She flew into Charlottesville today from San Francisco.

Naomi explained that on the west coast this morning, many passengers didn't know what exactly was going on. "I got there an hour early, which I thought was fine, but it was just a madhouse. The security backed up, they were shoving people back and forth it was just chaotic," she said.

Fellow traveler Mark Hale's day started in Chicago. He was a little luckier since he had heard about the security changes. "It was fairly normal actually, for an O'Hare day. They made you take out things that normally go through."

Airport officials say knowing the new restriction will save passengers lots of time at the terminal.

"If people prepare at home for this type of level of security, everything should run smoothly," explained one employee of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport.

That means no liquids or gels of any kind in carry-ons. That includes things like shampoos, moisturizers, even toothpaste. Although passengers can buy bottled water in the airport shops, they cannot carry it through security with them. It would have to be finished in advance, or thrown away.

Both locally and nationally, passengers tried to repack bags while at the airport, but for many that simply didn't work.

"I shifted stuff, but that still wasn't enough. So I still had a bottle of lotion and had to just throw that out. People were doing that all over the place. [I had to throw out] lip gloss and eye drops. I had those in my carry-on and last minute I had to just chuck them."

The key to getting through the airport as hassle-free as possible is to plan ahead. Be aware of these new restrictions that apply to liquids and gels. Remember that the rules only apply to carry-on bags--passengers can still pack them in checked bags.

For more information about security updates and travel procedures from the Transportation Security Administration, check out www.tsa.gov.


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