JUDY WOODRUFF, NewsHour Special Correspondent: For more
about these changes and their impact, I'm joined by Keith Alexander. He's a
reporter and columnist who covers the airline industry for the Washington Post.
Keith Alexander, thank you very much for joining us. Put
yourself in the role of a passenger. Going forward, what do you expect to be
different when you're getting ready to fly, either into or out of the United States?
KEITH ALEXANDER, Washington Post: Well, Judy, there are
several things that will be different. First of all, airlines are encouraging
travelers to get to the airport at least an additional hour. On flights within
the United States, that
means two hours as opposed to one hour; flights out of the United States, that means three
hours as opposed to two hours. So from that standpoint, definitely it's going
to create some tension.
Also, travelers should definitely look at the Web sites of
their airlines to find out if their flight is operating, because, right now,
airlines are pretty much in a wait-and-see mode going out from Friday and
through the weekend.
And mostly, Judy, what's also going to be different is their
carry-on bags. Flying out of the United States
into, let's say, Great
Britain, you are not allowed to carry
laptops, or cell phones, or BlackBerries. Obviously, you can't carry anything
Same thing occurs for here in the U.S. You can't carry anything
liquid, although you can carry in your carry-on bag your equipment, as in a
BlackBerry and cell phone.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So just to be clear, if you're going to and
from Great Britain,
BlackBerries, which are the little e-mail devices, laptops, anything, any other
-- what about iPods?
KEITH ALEXANDER: Anything electronic, Judy, has got to be
stowed, put in your checked-in bag, because again, with this terrorism threat,
one of the questions was it would be activated by something electrical. So
again, going into Europe, all of those
electrical devices have got to be checked in your bags.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now is that all destinations in Europe or
just Great Britain?
KEITH ALEXANDER: That's all destinations, even going through
Europe. For example, let's say you're flying
from the U.S. into Europe on
to, let's say, Asia or an African country. You
still have to adhere to those European guidelines. Remember, Europe is under a
code red, which is a much higher alert than in the U.S., so they are at the
highest of alerts in Europe.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now, let's talk about the ban on liquids, as
again these are any flights anywhere in the United States. So we're talking any
-- you know, we've heard it on the program up until now -- hair spray, hand
KEITH ALEXANDER: Shampoo, gel...
JUDY WOODRUFF: Cup of coffee?
KEITH ALEXANDER: ... cup of coffee. Judy, a lot of people --
I have talked to some travelers, and they are saying -- and some airlines --
and they've noticed that people are getting through security, and they're going
to a restaurant or a concession stand and buying a bottle of water or something
of that nature. And they believe they can carry that onto the aircraft.
No, you cannot. You have to drink it there at the gate. You
will not be allowed to carry any type of liquid, any type of beverage
whatsoever onto a plane. However, if you have baby formula or if you have
medicine, and on the medicine bottle your name is printed, they will allow you
to have that.
So it's going to be a very interesting time. And airlines
are already preparing for that. I talked to some people like Gate Gourmet,
which provides meals and beverages for the airlines, and they are already
putting additional beverages on planes just to prepare these people,
passengers, so when they get there they can actually have something actually on