Flying in a couple weeks, what to know?

Discussion in 'Community' started by ShadowHunter, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. ShadowHunter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Location:
    Fresno
    #1
    I've only taken a trip one other time on a plane, and since then 9/11 happened...what changes happened to security. What should I know about flying? How do carry-ons work? How early should I arrive at the airport for a 5:15am flight? Basically, what is the total lowdown?
     
  2. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    washington dc
    #2
    it's not terribly different, just might take slightly longer to get through security... and it certainly shouldn't be an issue at 5:15am...

    just leave your weapons and things at home
     
  3. ShadowHunter thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Location:
    Fresno
    #3
    Oh damn... :eek:
     
  4. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #4
    *things are different for domestic flights vs international, where will you be flying to?

    -changes to security: must remove shoes, must remove/scan jackets/coats, must show laptop is a viable computer not some bomb (I don't know if they did this check pre-9/11)---- check online for a list of restricted items (tweezers, nail clippers, knitting needles-- should be fine if you pack it in stowaway luggage but don't try to carry them onto the cabin area)

    -carry-ons: differ per airline; usually they allow one roller/small suitcase thingie as well as a backpack/purse (check w/ the airline's website because there are set dimensions- height, length, width, as well as weight)

    -for a good time to arrive at the airport, it depends on domestic vs international flight-- domestic I would say get there about an hour before, for international, 2 hours--- bear in mind that you may still have thumb-twiddling time before you can board so pack some "entertainment"
     
  5. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    washington dc
    #5
    you don't always have to remove shoes... it varries by airport and by how bulky your shoes look...
     
  6. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #6
    Nothing to worry about - give yourself and hour and don't sweat it (or 2 if international). Just watch out for the impatient business travelers (like me) who get irked when people try to walk through the metal detectors without taking the 6 dollars in change out of their pockets :rolleyes:
     
  7. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #7
    The best is when the security person has to repeat like 5 times, "Ma'am/Sir, please remove your cellular phone and place it in the bin."
     
  8. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #8
    Whatever you do, do not tell them that Achmed packed your suitcase.
     
  9. iDM macrumors 6502a

    iDM

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Location:
    The Commonwealth of PA/The First State-DE
    #9
    Not sure if this was mentioned in the extensive list mentioned earlier, but I would suggest removing your belt and putting it in the tray as well. For some reason they don't ask or mention that you remove it and when you walk through 3 times and still set it off, you get patted down, and scanned with a hand scanner. It happened to me in Alaska and going to Europe before, I know better now and so do you.

    P.S. If you will be carrying anything like a lighter, matches, or knife it must be packed in your checked baggage/stowaway luggage.
     
  10. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #11
    How exactly should I fly with my PB?
    Can I request a hand-inspection, instead of Xrays? I don't want my poor baby getting bombarded with rays! Even though it's not supposed to be possible, I can totally see it killing my RAM or formatting my HD. I'm nervous about my li'l computer. I should also totally turn it completely off before I go through, and make sure AirPort and BT are turned off, right?

    I know that people like to tag team, and cause a commotion at the other metal check point, then steal your baby PB/iBook/who would steal a dell?!. Should I have my dad go through first, and WATCH MY PB LIKE A HAWK as it comes out, if I HAAAVEEE to send it through the XRay machine?

    Sorry, just nervous flying questions from the owner of a sweet, sweet PowerBook. Even though it was free, I'd rather like to keep it, ya know? :p
     
  11. Benjamin macrumors 6502a

    Benjamin

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    When I fly I usually get there before my flight an hour and a half. Go wait in line for getting my bags checked, show id. (both my airlines are 1 bag, 1 carryon and one personal item) Bag is taken to xray, no film. Go wait for security. They will check your boarding pass and ID before you get in line. Set the laptop in a separate tray. Sometimes have to take my shoes off. Walk to my gate and thats pretty much it. They seem to have stopped IDing when boarding.

    I have traveled about.. 30 times since 9/11 though MKE, ORD, DEN, MSP and on Northwest and United.

    About the laptop, xrays aren't a problem. my powerbooks been in it a lot, just have it off till get passed security.
     
  12. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #13

    Awesome.. I feel better.

    Now, on to SF! hooray!!!! :) :)
     
  13. wide macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #14
    ok, i'm about to buy one of the new ibooks, and i'm also going to italy in august.

    i'm concerned about the ibook b/c i fear it might get scratched during inspection. they always make you take it out of the case and put it in the tray, and then you put the tray in the machine. while it is on the conveyor belt and is about to enter the xray machine, it has to pass through those dangling pieces of rubber (sort of like a curtain, to prevent people from seeing what goes on inside).

    has it ever happened that those pieces of rubber graze the notebook in the tray and leave nasty marks?
     
  14. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #15
    Another thing to remember is, if you're travelling with small children (say two little girls under the age of 3, with all the necessary diaper (ie. nappy) bags, strollers, toys and snacks), you'll always be pulled aside and thoroughly searched.
     
  15. MacHarne macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    #16
    Take off your shoes just so they don't have to ask you, which would slow down the security checking lines. Take off your belt (shoes and belt go in one of the bins with your carry-ons). Put your laptop into one of those bins; no need to worry about the X-rays - they only reformat the stupider computers. Maximum of two carry-ons, some people try to push their luck with this "rule". Carry-on advice: one, small suitcase and one, medium-sized backpack/purse/man-purse.

    But your flight is very early and you may not need to arrive the usual 90 minutes prior (as is recommended for domestic flights, 120 minutes for international). That is up to your discretion.

    And keep Swiss army knives (and faux Swiss army knives), nail clippers, nose-hair clippers, and nether-hair clippers at home. If you need an alarm clock for the trip, take a digital; the ticking of analog is a bit nerve-racking and may hold you up for a few minutes with security... with security holding your wrists behind your back... wrists in handcuffs.

    But overall, as United kept reminding me and reminding me - enjoy the friendly skies. I always love the jolt of take-off as you experience lots and lots of lateral Gs. Oh, oh, oh, and get a window seat if possible. Those crazy rules about "no portable electronics until we say it is safe" is just a gag, so take some pictures of take-off and landing.
     
  16. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    #17
    I've had 8 trips since May, 3 international. Some airports vary (shoes, lines, etc.) but basically, I would recommend:
    1-international flight - arrive a good 2 and a half hours prior to. If it's Miami or the like, leave yourself 3.
    2-prepare to show passport when you enter security check at least 2, sometimes 3 times (as in prior to placing carry ons on the belt).
    3-I remove shoes, belt, cell phone, place computer in provided plastic tray and place those with attaché on security belt to go through check.
    4-You will pass through security entrance door and may be hand checked.
    5-You may or may not be asked to come with an agent to go through a routine "swabbing" of your items, but be prepared for that, time-wise.
    6-keep a positive attitude
    Good luck
    X
     
  17. zach macrumors 65816

    zach

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Location:
    Medford
    #18
    nah, i've sent my iBook/PowerBook through many times, the rubber barely touches it, and I've never noticed a mark.

    don't worry about it ;)
     
  18. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #19
    yeah if you are white :p
     
  19. Apple Hobo macrumors 6502a

    Apple Hobo

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Location:
    A series of tubes
    #20
    Leave your Wylie Coyote bowling-ball-shaped bombs at home. No old-fashioned alarm clocks strapped to bundles of dynamite. No chainsaws or Samurai swords. Cutting torches are also a no-no. These are just some of the items listed on those large "prohibited carry-on items" lists that are located outside the boarding gates.

    Also check the TSA site.
     
  20. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #21
    Well I just got back in from SFO yesterday from DCA on a roundtrip vacation.

    First I would take and look at the TSA website on what is permitted or not in both checked bags and carry-on. When in doubt leave it home, or be prepared to either check your carry-on as baggage in the hold - or be prepared to throw the item away.

    In my case (I went with only my carry-on and my "personal item" - my camera bag) I went and bought a new tripod, since my old travel tripod had rubber feet that exposed a 1/4 "spike".

    I also believe that the TSA website, or maybe it was the airport website that had a listing of the wait times to get through security. Keep in mind many airlines now start boarding of the aircraft 30 minutes prior to flight time, with any unoccupied seat 15 minutes prior to flight time being released if the flight is overbooked (at least with American Airlines in my case). Check to see if you can print off your boarding pass BEFORE you get to the airport. With AA, it could be done up to 24 hours before your flight.

    My first hand experience on 7/20 departing out of DCA for a 6:51AM flight, the line was long - but moved quickly. The chart I mentioned stated 20 minute delays to get through security, but they moved me through in under 10 minutes. I did not have to remove my sneakers (do not wear heavy soled shoes). Because I drove to the airport, I planned on a 1 1/2 to 2 hour window before my flight to cover for traffic.

    Departing SFO on 7/24 for a 11:45PM flight, there was no line. Maybe it was due to heightened concerns after the second attempt in London - I was required to remove my sneakers and my carry-on a looked at on the x-ray machine quite closely. And due to using BART, I also allowed the same window before my flight.

    Believe or not, these are now allowed as carry-ons. But a plastic wrench for a tripod is not - considered a tool. :confused:

     
  21. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #22
    As stated, I just got back from SF. If you haven't been before - be sure to take a light weight jacket. If can be chilly at times.

    If you like getting around to see different things in a city, I highly recommend the City Pass (http://sanfrancisco.about.com/library/bl_citypass.htm - price is now $42). I got my moneys worth out the pass. My hotel (The Grant Hotel - great place to rest the head for $65-80 a night depending on bed size - be sure to ask for a room that faces the alley that room 306 faces, very quiet) was at Powell and Bush right on the cable car line. The Pass saved my legs from climbing many a hill by taking the Muni.

    Restaurant wise, for cheap eats I liked Vito's at Bush and Powell (met the San Francisco Twins {http://www.pbase.com/image/274414} there on my last night in SF), The Pork Shop Cafe in the Haight, and the New Peking I think on Taylor just a few blocks from The Grant Hotel.

    If you want to go to Alcatraz, I would suggest that you reserve BEFORE you leave for SF. By the time I got to do the FREE Bay Cruise (City Pass) on 7/22, they were already sold out till 7/26!

    If you do the City Pass, be sure to get the Muni map. It will be a big help IMO in making the most of getting around. The Muni system in SF is great! Never had to wait longer than 20 minutes for a pick-up on the bus lines. Never took the Muni subway, only the BART from SFO to the City ($4.95).

    I relied heavily on the cable cars, the F line (wonderful old trolley cars that do the Embarcadero). BTW, Thursdays are the Farmers Market at the Ferry building. I also used the Muni bus lines regularly of the 7, 71, 28, 5, and 31. If you go to the Muni site (http://www.sfmuni.com/cms/mms/home/home50.htm) you can see the many ways of getting around.
     
  22. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #23

    WOW!! you rock, and THANKS! I'm gonna have to post all these SF posts into a PDF and print them out!
     
  23. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #24
    Well thanks! It might help to know what you want out of "The City". What sort of things you like doing.

    I am a photographer and went with the idea of capturing some great moments. The fog wasn't there for many of them - so I spent time getting around for ideas on other photo projects (I am now thinking of two or three trips a year to SF - in addition to my other travel plans)
     
  24. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #25
    at LAX I was asked to remove my shoes. I was wearing Birkenstocks for pete's sake! (yeah yeah, place joke here) I'm a little blonde white girl and they still thought I looked scary enough to search. freaks.
    just plan plenty of time ahead, you never know what kind of rubbish you will deal with.
     

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