HOUSTON – It’s expected close to 2 million people will fly through Bush and Hobby airports for the Thanksgiving holiday. Safety is priority for airport, local and federal authorities.
There are many layers of security when it comes to traveling, some layers we see, some layers we do not see.
“That’s what our major goal is, is to make sure everyone is safe while traveling and have the freedom to travel,” says Justin Angell, TSA Lead Transportation Security officer in baggage.
Angell said the security measures begin from the moment a person books an airline ticket. Their information: full name, gender and date of birth is vetted against a terrorist watch list, is maintained by the FBI.
Meanwhile, the day to travel at the airport is busy. Airport officials recommend people to arrive two hours in advance of a domestic flight and three hours in advance of an international flight.
Before you can go through security, you will check your bag if you have checked luggage. That airline employee will take your luggage and the inline baggage system directs it through an explosive detection system.
At Bush, your checked luggage could travel multiple miles before reaching the plane.
“The EDS will let us know if the bag needs to be checked or not, usually indicated by the light above,” Angell explained.
Green means clear and the bag continues onto the plane. Red indicated the bag needs to be searched and will be subjected and rerouted to a station for physical search under surveillance.
“It is totally secured when it comes to camera wise and seeing what we do, it is for our safety as well, not just for the traveling public,” explained Angell.
If your bag is physically searched, you will find what is often referred to as a love note… or a notice of baggage inspection. This notifies the traveler their bas was physically inspected. If TSA finds a prohibited item, you will receive another notice stating all hazardous materials discovered in your baggage have been removed. The airline is then responsible for taking possession of the item.
For a list of what items can be checked or are prohibited, and other packing tips click here.