Airlines Tighten Security

Stop. No longer can you check your bags curbside, then dash off and board. Now all travelers must check in.

To comply with new Federal Aviation Administration-mandated changes in airport security procedures, American, Continental, Northwest and TWA airlines have eliminated advance boarding passes. Other carriers are expected to follow suit. Although travelers can still pre-reserve seat assignments, the airlines only issue boarding passes the day of travel. Boarding passes will be issued at the origination airport up to six hours prior to travel. And passengers, even those who have not checked bags, need to show a photo ID and answer required security questions from an agent. On international flights, an airline may ask you to submit your passport number, date and place of birth, Social Security number and names of next of kin before finalizing your travel plans.

The carriers don’t expect the new check-in requirements to cause delays. In fact, American Airlines found that only 5% of their passengers actually used the pre-issued boarding passes as they were intended. Most fliers still checked in. Because of the new security measures, the FAA suggests that travelers check in at least one hour early for domestic flights and two hours for international flights.

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