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Sammy Linebaugh ReportingA lot of people will be taking to the air for the long holiday. Tightened security at airports has some of them wondering whether the hassle is worth it, especially as new changes to airport procedure take effect next week.
Salt Lake Airport recently launched a new campaign to address what it calls a "perception problem." It's a new 24-hour hotline where patrons of Salt Lake International Airport can call with questions from parking to security procedures.
One caller wanted to know if a hairspray can is allowed in carry on luggage.
Operator: "Let me call Southwest and see if they'll let you keep it in your checked luggage. It can't go in your carry-on.”
"Simply-Fly" is the catchphrase of Salt Lake airport's new campaign to become more user-friendly, which also includes new airport greeters now available to answer questions and expedite travel on site.
Barbara Gann, Salt Lake Airport Spokesperson: "In actuality airports have probably never been easier, but because of a lot of changes the last two years, it is confusion and it's just different
Take the new kiosks, for example. Do-it-yourselfers can now check-in without ever talking to anybody.
Barbara Gann: "All of our airlines but three now use them, and you can just get your boarding pass issued by a machine as opposed to waiting in line for a ticket agent."
You just enter your credit card and the computer matches your reservation. Within seconds your boarding pass is printed out.
Bob Vantholen, Traveler from Chicago: "I think it's great. I think it's much easier than the normal check in process."
Starting next Tuesday, July 8th, self-serve kiosks may become increasingly popular. That is when Salt Lake Airport is discontinuing gate check-in requiring all passengers to obtain their boarding pass before entering the security checkpoint.
Barbara Gann: "People are used to e-tickets and not necessarily having that boarding pass before they go through the checkpoint.”
The change is designed to improve security while streamlining procedure. Long-term airport officials hope the concept of “simply-fly” will take off with travelers.
The "simply-fly" phone number is 359-EASE.