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"Dallas airports ready for holiday rush"
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Dallas airports ready for holiday rush
By SUZANNE MARTA
The Dallas (TX) Morning News
Parking lots were open and security lines were relatively short Thursday
morning, but officials said passengers should plan for the worst and give
themselves extra time.
At D/FW Airport, an estimated 3 million passengers are expected to travel
between Dec. 20 and Jan. 6, about the same as last year.
Security lines may cause passengers the most anxiety, but the wait may not
be as long as you think.
David Magana, an airport spokesman, said the wait times during the
Thanksgiving period averaged seven minutes. Even during peak periods, it
took customers around 15 minutes to go through security screening, he said.
Airport staffers plan to have volunteers on hand Thursday and Friday to help
ease the process for travelers.
Dallas resident Glenda Bounds, who was heading to Sacramento, Calif., on
Thursday, grabbed an extra zip-top bag from a volunteer just in case.
Ms. Bounds, who travels a couple of times a year, said she always worries
when she goes the airport.
"I just don't travel enough to remember all these things," she said, fishing
through her purse for any liquids or gels.
"Oh, dear, this isn't allowed is it?" she said, pulling out a small bottle
of eyedrops. (It was, as long as she put it in her 1-quart bag.)
Cedric Alexander, the federal security director for D/FW airport, said
passengers can help speed the screening process by having their liquid items
ready for inspection and by packing their bags neatly so it's easier for
security officers to see what's inside.
He said travelers bringing gifts in their carry-on bags should leave them
"If you have a pretty, wrapped package and something in there looks
suspicious, they're going to have to unwrap it, so we don't want people to
be disappointed," Mr. Alexander said.
Nationally, AAA estimates 65.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or
more during the Christmas-New Year's holiday period, about the same as last
Of those about 8.9 million, or 13.7 percent are expected to fly.
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