In Philly, air travelers take new restrictions in stride|
SITTING ON the metal-rimmed edge of United Airlines baggage-claim C, Reed Apostol scoffed at the terror plot foiled last week in Great Britain. "There's only so much that you can be afraid of before you are afraid of flying," she said, waiting for her luggage after her flight from Indianapolis. Yesterday, Apostol and many others were on flights in and out of Philadelphia International Airport as the Transportation Security Administration eased its ban on some recently restricted items in passengers' carry-on luggage. The ban on all liquids, gels and aerosols in carry-on luggage went into effect Thursday after almost two dozen terror suspects were arrested in Britain, foiling what was described as a plot to blow up at least 10 jetliners over the Atlantic Ocean. "I'd like to thank the American public for their patience and cooperation in observing the liquid, gel and aerosol ban," said Kip Hawley, TSA assistant secretary. "The refinements that we are announcing are based on feedback from our security officers, the public and our partners. These tweaks are aimed at making a smoother process at the checkpoint." These "tweaks" will allow small doses of liquid medication, baby food, low-blood-sugar treatments, including glucose gel for diabetics, in carry-on luggage. But as part of the new regulations, passengers are now required to remove their shoes to be X-rayed before the passengers board planes. Also, throw your Cover Girl back into your purse, ladies. The TSA says lipstick is OK. "It was pretty amusing going to the airport in Indianapolis and seeing the little drawings of tubes of lipstick with an X through them," Apostol said of her experience. "I fly pretty often, so this really wasn't a big deal to me." Others had similarly easygoing experiences without much difficulty. Sarah Larson, a traveler from Atlanta, simply told her husband with a soft smile, "Well, we'll just check 'em, then!" when talking about carrying the banned items in their luggage en route to Philly International. "It was no trouble at all," she said. "We had this trip planned for a while and we weren't going to change our plans because of this," she said, referring to the terror alert. According to the TSA, the nation's threat level remains at the "severe" classification for commercial flights from the United Kingdom to the United States. All other flights operating in or destined for the United States remain at "high." Travelers are reminded to contact their airlines for information on airport arrival times.