Sep 062006
 
Authors: LYNDSEY STRUTHERS, CHRISTY SCHINDLER

Editor’s Note: To remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001, a series of stories will show how the last five years’ events continue to change the community. This is the third of several stories that will run throughout the week.

Emma felt the brunt of the airport security crackdown.

The 8-week-old puppy belonged to CSU freshman Kevin Struhar. The golden retriever was left stranded in Portland, Ore., for several hours in the days following the summer’s foiled terror plot.

Struhar was bumped to the next flight, separating him from his pooch. And on top of that, his flight from Denver to Portland was delayed, leaving the already nervous Emma frightened.

“Thank God someone at the Oregon airport noticed that we weren’t there to get her yet, because they took her out and started playing with her,” Struhar said.

Although it turned out OK for the open-option major seeking business, the recent security crackdown has irked many.

The 2001 terrorist attacks changed the very nature of flying. Passengers faced more scrutiny and delays, and the hassles intensified this summer in light of the foiled plot in London.

Ahmad AlQahtani, a junior environmental health major, departed from London’s Heathrow Airport four days after the plot was uncovered. AlQahtani’s flight was delayed for more than an hour as airport officials waited for permission from the United States for the plane to depart.

“We could not carry cell phones, liquids, no colored bags and we were not allowed to bring any books or magazines unless we had a receipt saying we bought it from the airport,” AlQahtani said.

Since 9/11, the airline industry has undergone a significant overhaul. The ban on liquid items in carry-on luggage is one of the most significant recent changes, said Andrea McCauley, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration.

The ban was in response to the thwarted Aug. 10 attempted attack. Suspected terrorists attempted to use a sports drink mixed with a gel-like substance that could be triggered using an MP3 player or a cell phone to blow up aircraft flying out of London into the United States, officials said.

“Before Sept. 11, airport security was a completely different animal,” McCauley said. “Essentially, security from the curbside to the cockpit has changed.”

In response to the attempted attack, the FSA issued a directive banning liquid substances, including shampoo and sun tan oil from being transported in carry-on luggage.

Jill Eberly, a senior restaurant and resort management major, views the new regulations as necessary, agrees they can be a hassle. On a recent flight from San Diego to Denver, she was required to check her luggage that she intended to carry on because it contained items such as face wash.

“It took us at least 45 minutes to get our baggage that could easily have been carried on,” Eberly said.

For Erica Dobek, a travel adviser at STA travel, the regulation requiring all passengers to remove their shoes stands out as one of the major inconveniences created by the revamped security.

“There is definitely more of a presence,” Dobek said.

For some passengers, the post-9/11 security precautions are a nuisance. For AlQahtani, the airport security crackdown in London, along with rifle-toting police officers made him uncomfortable.

“As an Arab, when they look at me, I think they are suspecting me,” AlQahtani said.

McCauley said that airport security measures do not target specific people based on religion or appearance.

Alicia Lovato, a junior health and exercise science major, sees all the added security as an exercise in futility.

“There are ways to get around security and they will find a way if they really want to do something to a plane,” she said. “They want to take away chapstick and they aren’t allowing gel shoe inserts.it’s just overboard.”

Staff writers Lyndsey Struthers and Christy Schindler can be reached at news@collegian.com

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