How 9/11 changed the way we travel

Don't Waste Your Money

Many things have changed in America since 9/11.

But the most noticeable change, that we are reminded of every time we travel by air, has taken place at the nation's airports.

Meetings at the Gate

Today's children won't remember this, but before 9/11 you could walk down to an airport loading gate and greet Grandma as she came off her plane.

Not anymore. No one without a boarding pass for that day can proceed beyond security.

Speaking of security, it was handled by private companies, some with some very lax rules.

Now it's controlled by the TSA, and it''s a lot tougher. Travelers are subjected to intense screening, driver's license checks, and routine pat downs. Laptop computers must be out for inspection.

Other changes:

  • Pilots can now carry loaded handguns onboard.
  • Armed air marshals routinely ride along in back.
  • Cockpit doors are locked and strengthened.
  • All checked bags are X-rayed. Before 9/11, many bags down below went unchecked.
  • All airport employees are screened daily upon arrival for work. Before 9/11, many were just waved in.
  • Many more items are restricted on board, including any type of knife, even screwdrivers, and anything that can double as a weapon

Some changes Post-9/11

Tougher rules requiring removal of shoes and restrictions on liquids came after later threats in 2005 and 2006, such as the famous Richard Reid "shoe bomber" case.

The TSA says it may soon ease the shoe restriction. But the other changes will remain, a reminder that flying will never be the same as it was before 9/11.

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