Traveler Preparedness

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Preparedness Guide for Travelers

Heightened security measures at airports make the process of arriving, checking in, and boarding an airplane longer. Know what to expect and being prepared for emergencies can make your trip both safe and enjoyable.


  • Contact your airline to find out how early to arrive.
    • Take public transportation to the airport if possible, since parking may he controlled or restricted.
    • Don’t count on curbside check-in. Contact your airline to see if it is still in place at your airport.
    • Make sure you have a government issued ID (federal, state, or local); it is now required to board a plane.
    • If you have E-ticket, you may need written confirmation from the airline, such as a letter, fax or email. Check ahead of time to make sure you have the proper documentation.


  • Certain items, such as knives, cutting instruments, and ski poles, can no longer be carried on board but walking canes and umbrellas can. Check with your airline if you are unsure about whether to place an item in checked or carry-on baggage.
  • Remember that each traveler is limited to one carry-on bag and one personal bag such as a purse, laptop, or briefcase.
  • All electronic items, such as laptops and cell phones, may be subjected to additional screening at the airport.
  • Do not gift-wrap carry-on items as they may need to be opened during security screening.
  • List your name, address, and telephone numbers inside and outside of each piece of luggage. Use covered luggage tags to avoid casual observation of your identity.


Stay especially alert and watch your bags carefully at all times. Don’t let anyone but uniformed airline personnel handle or watch your bags.

  • Report anything suspicious to the nearest airport or airline personnel, including unattended luggage or packages.
  • Do not bring anything on board for another person unknown to or not traveling with you, however innocent or small the package or items may appear.

Take what you hear seriously. If you overhear someone bragging or talking about plans to harm citizens, report it to law enforcement immediately.


  • Listen carefully to the safety briefing on the plane and follow instructions from airline personnel.
  • Review the passenger safety card before take of and landing.
  • Locate the plane’s emergency exits both in front and behind you. Count rows between you and the nearest front and rear exits.
  • Make a mental plan of action in case of emergency


  • Watch out for staged mishaps, like someone bumping into you or spilling a drink. Often it’s a ploy to divert your attention while a pick-pocket grabs your wallet or other valuables.
  • Carry one or two major credit cards and travelers’ checks rather than cash.

Carry your purse close to your body, or your wallet in an inside front pocket. Considering a money pouch under your clothes.

  • Never leave your bags unattended or behind your back where you cannot see them.
  • Keep a separate record of the contents of checked luggage. Keep anything of value in a carry-on that stays with you.
  • Avoid displaying expensive cameras, jewelry, and luggage that might draw attention. Your aim should he to blend in with the crowd.