Travel tips post 9-11

There’s a great divide in air travel, and it has nothing to do with economy versus first class. It’s the world before and post 9-11.The terrorist attacks have changed how airports and airlines do business. Travellers need patience and politeness to deal with the new security protocols. The common goal is to get people to their destinations-with confidence about safety. The tolerance for bad behaviour is absolutely zero.

Carry photo ID
For the travelling public, it’s a new reality of line-ups, waits, checks and cross checks.
There are some things you can do to make all this go as well as possible.

  • Check your flight status. Do this before you even leave home.
  • Carry photo ID, a driver’s license or a passport, for example. 

You will need your photo ID to verify your paper ticket at the check-in counter. With an electronic ticket, you will need photo ID to get a boarding pass.

You will need to show your photo ID at the security check-in. You may also be asked to show your photo ID at the gate just before boarding. 

Allow extra time

  • Allow extra timeor checking in-but don’t overdo it.

Air Canada suggests arriving:

  • 30 minutes before Rapidair flights (the Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal triangle)
  • One hour before other domestic flights
  • Two hours before American flights
  • Three hours before international flights.

They do not want you there four and five hours ahead of time. It only makes the line-ups more crowded.

Limit carry-ons

  • Limit your carry-on baggage.

Obviously, if everyone is carrying less into the cabin, the checking process can go more quickly. In mid-October, Air Canada announced limits for carry-on baggage.

Next page: Limits for carry-on baggage

New limits for carry-ons
It’s one carry-on bag and one personal item (purse, briefcase, laptop or backpack). If you check your suitcase, then you can bring your briefcase and laptop with you.

  • Ensure all electronic devices in your carry-on baggage are operational. Security will ask you to turn on your laptop, Palm Pilot, cell phone and Walkman.
  • Check pocketknives, or any “knife-like” objects, scissors and straight razors.
  • It’s recommended you leave hair dryers, irons and curling irons at home. But if you do bring them, put them in checked luggage.

Extra security

  • Expect questions about your luggage-did you pack your own bag; can you vouch for the contents; did you leave it unattended at any time?
  • Expect the security check to take longer, be more thorough.
  • You may be required to go through another check at the gate, before you board the plane.
  • You won’t be allowed to wait in a car during drop-offs or pick-ups outside the airport terminal.
  • Parking at some airports is more restricted-especially in the U.S.
  • Unattended vehicles are banned near the terminals.

    Different airlines and airports will have different security measures. Check with them directly to find out their policies.