Heightened Security Measures Impact Passengers

Ausust 10, 2006 p.m. CDT

MEMPHIS, TN -- With news of a heightened terror alert, many passengers were on edge about taking to the air on Thursday.

At the Memphis International Airport, newly banned carry-on items are posted all over the terminal.

"We've added any liquid or gel items to our prohibited items list, so those items will either have to be surrendered or returned back to the vehicle," said Don Barker, TSA Federal Security Director for Western Tennessee.

One passenger who spoke with K8 News had just arrived in Memphis after flying in from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, where he said the wait was much worse.

"They confiscated my entire shave kit... shaving cream, cologne, toothpaste, deodorant... anything liquid," said traveler Jon Burrow.

Some passengers knew about the regulation beforehand and took the necessary measures.

Wait times at security checkpoints all across the United States were very long, but officials say that wasn't the case in Memphis.

"Our wait times have really not increased by more than a few minutes throughout the airport," said Barker.

But, that is all subject to change.  Starting Thursday evening, there will be random and continuous gate screenings and background security measures enforced.  There will also be additional screenings at the gate before passengers board planes.  However, most of the passengers didn't seem to mind

"It's just something you have to adjust to.  Despite all the security, I know the purpose is for protection.  It can be an inconvenience, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and deal with it," said taxi driver Wallace Go.

If you are concerned about your flight or unsure about what measures you should take, contact your airline.