TOM BEARDEN: Late this morning America's mass air transportation system began what promises to be a long, slow process of returning to normal operation. A few flights began to operate at a small number of airports like Atlanta and Baltimore Washington after those facilities received the Federal Aviation Administration stamp of approval on newly mandated security precautions
SPOKESMAN: The security at the airport down in Atlanta was phenomenal - between the check points - all the security they searched bags and things like that and did a really, really thorough job.
TOM BEARDEN: In Minneapolis-St. Paul travelers from Asia finally headed to their final U.S. destination after being stranded for two days.
SPOKESPERSON: May I have your boarding pass and I.D. please.
TOM BEARDEN: The handful of travelers at this and mostly other airports were subjected to ticket and I.D. inspections.
TIM CALLISTER: We have looked at all of the mechanisms we used to provide for a secure situation and we've beefed up the security checkpoints, a higher staffing level; we've restricted the items that can go through the security checkpoint.
TOM BEARDEN: According to Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta all travelers should expect a different environment at the nation's airports.
NORMAN MINETA: A thorough search and security check of all airports and airplanes will take place before passengers are allowed to board any aircraft. Agents from the Department of Justice and from the Department of Treasury will be employed to... will be deployed to airports across the country.
TOM BEARDEN: Mineta said curbside check in is discontinued and vehicles near terminals will be watched closely. Passengers must check in at the ticket check in counter and only ticketed travelers can go through metal detectors.
SPOKESPERSON: We are only able to check in a few flights right now.
TOM BEARDEN: It's expected to be at least several days before full service is restored; the airlines face the daunting task of moving tens of thousands people stranded Tuesday when the FAA grounded more than 2,000 aircraft within hours of the terrorists attacks. Officials urged all travelers to contact their carriers for more information and to be prepared for extraordinary delays before being allowed to board.