Numbers Down At Airport, But Still Expecting To Be Busy This Week - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

MANY PEOPLE WILL BE FLYING FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE SEPTEMBER 11

Numbers Down At Airport, But Still Expecting To Be Busy This Week

LuAnn Groesch arrived at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport early Sunday and had no trouble checking her bags or making her flight.

"It's taking a little longer to get through security, but not too bad," she said.

But at peak times, security checks even at this relatively small airport have kept people in line for nearly two hours. And that's why airport officials are still recommending you arrive two hours before your flight.

Holdups can begin at the counter. Some checked bags will be pulled out, opened, and inspected by security.

"It's all done randomly through the airline through the airline computer reservation system so a passenger will not know whether or not they're going to be a selected passenger until they check in," explained Ken Spirito, an airport executive.

The longest lines, though, are generally to get through the metal detector. Five boxes have been filled with items that have been confiscated since September 11th. All of the items, including scissors, nail files, corkscrews, silverware were fine to take on the plane before the terrorist attacks, but now will be pulled from your carry-on bags.

"I like to do needlework on the airlines and I can't do that anymore because I can't bring my scissors, so I can't do needlework on the planes anymore, but that's o.k," Groesch said.

Don't carry anything sharp. Nail clippers are okay as long as they don't have the nail file attached to it. People have missed their flights while waiting to get through security.

There is some good news. Starting at 4 a.m. on Tuesday, the short term parking lot will be open for the first time since September 11th. That will add another 180 spaces, so at least parking will be a little easier for your trip to Grandma's house.

By Amanda Jones

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