How 9/11 changed air travel for Americans and airport security protocols

National

HONOLULU (KHON) — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) travel rules that were put in place 20 years ago remain in effect to this day.

Those rules include having your bags screened and taking off your shoes before walking through a body scan. According to Lorie Dankers, TSA spokesperson for the Pacific Region, there have been major events over the past two decades that have significantly modified procedures.

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“The first one was in December 2001 when someone tried to make their shoe into a bomb and board an aircraft,” Dankers said. “That was a failed attempt, not in the United States, not someone who was trying to come into the United States.”

After nearly 20 years, she said many people forget that they were allowed to leave their shoes on.

Another rule put into action is one almost every traveler thinks about when they debate between checking in a bag or using a carry-on. 

“In the summer of 2006, there was an overseas plot to use liquid explosives on an aircraft to bring liquid onto the plane to mix them so they can cause that catastrophic damage to the aircraft,” said Dankers. “As a result, overnight TSA banned any amount of liquid from coming in your carry-on and going into the cabin of the aircraft. We could not afford to have that type of plot take place in the United States.”

Within several weeks, Dankers said they modified this regulation to allow 3.4 ounces which is also the international standard.

Dankers added that another major event that forced TSA to update their regulations was the electronics brought on to the cabin of a plane. 

“Another major event was in 2017 when we saw overseas people were tampering with their electronics. People were moving their battery compartments. They were in many ways modifying their electronics to see if they could make that into an explosive,” said Dankers. “What we said here in the United States is we are going to take a closer look at those electronics. Anything larger than a cellphone needs to come out of your bag so our officers can get a clear look at that laptop or that gaming console or that iPad.”

Now if you are traveling with an electronic device in your carry-on, you are asked to put it in a separate bin to have an agent look at it.

Dankers agrees that these small regulations can be tedious and slow people down to getting to their gates, however, she said it’s their top priority to ensure every passenger has a safe flight.

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“When you need to go to wherever it is you’re going — to visit your family, to visit your friends, to go on vacation, to go to your work — that you can get there at the end of the day,” said Dankers. 

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