In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, travelers are reporting increased security measures at airports and train stations around the country. Although there is no official mandate for extra security, CBS News quotes Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano who released a statement, saying, "Out of an abundance of caution, DHS continues to keep in place enhanced security measures at transportation hubs, utilizing measures both seen and unseen."
Flyers passing through Boston's Logan International Airport have reported that departing travelers were stopped by authorities and asked to submit photos or videos taken during the Marathon to help in the investigation. Travelers at other airports, including Los Angeles' LAX, have reported seeing an increased military presence in terminals.
Tensions are high, as two security scares at Logan Airport this week have shown, including an incident in which two Arabic-speaking men were kicked off a plane after other passengers complained.
New York City's LaGuardia's airport also had to be evacuated over a suspicious package (which turned out to be harmless.)
Extra security presence, including bomb sniffing dogs and bag searches, has been reported at many other airports, trains, and bus stations, throughout the country.
Tips for travelers:
- Allow extra time to travel to the airport, especially if you are going by subway. Many major cities are increasing random bag searches on public transportation, which could lengthen your journey.
- Leave additional time for getting through security, particularly if you are flying from Boston. Although there are no reported delays at Logan Airport, JetBlue is recommending that passengers leave "a little extra time for security."
- Watch what you say. Security workers and other flyers are on high alert, as one flyer learned when he was detained at JFK for calling his sandwich the "bomb" within earshot of a TSA agent.
- Be vigilant. The Department of Homeland Security is reminding everyone, "If you See Something, Say Something," meaning if you see anything suspicious, report it to authorities.
- Mind your belongings. ABC News reports that the New York City Police Department has received three times the number of normal reports of suspicious packages in the last 24 hours, so be sure not to leave any items unattended.
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