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Travelers see new security measures following plane terror attack



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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Justice Department charged a Nigerian man Saturday with trying to blow up an airplane as it landed in Detroit Friday. Since that attack security rules for many flights are changing.

The majority of the changes affect international flights, specifically those coming to the U.S., and have caused some significant delays in other countries. The changes involve what personal items may be used and when, as well as a sort of lockdown for passengers during the final leg of their journeys.

The Nehme family arrived in Salt Lake City Saturday from Paris, but their marathon is far from over. They missed their connecting flight from Salt Lake to Los Angeles.

"We needed to wait and we were delayed because of all the security measures," said Carole Nehme.

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Those measures included additional screening of bags. Carole wasn't even allowed to carry on her purse. "They told us on the plane that because of what happened on the plane yesterday the government asked for this," she said.

The situation is similar across the world -- longer lines, tighter security. New security measures require carry-on baggage be both X-rayed and physically inspected.

TSA announced international passengers traveling to the U.S. may be patted down. Hundreds of travelers are reporting they were required to remain seated an hour prior to landing.

That was the case at Salt Lake International arrivals.

D.J. Jones arrived on a flight from Mexico. "We had to have everything off our laps and for the last hour of our flights we couldn't do anything," he said. "It was pretty much like a lockdown."

Passengers say they were asked to stow electronic devices like iPods and couldn't store anything underneath seats. Many passengers said the flight crews were very helpful and the process didn't cause much trouble.

"People were pretty nice and wanted to help," said Anna Peterson, who arrived from Mexico as well.

Tim Peterson was on that flight, and he agreed.

"There were profuse apologies from the flight attendants, but it really wasn't a hardship," he said.

TSA has not publicly announced any new standard regulations, but it did say the security measures are designed to be unpredictable, and passengers won't see the same thing at every airport.

Bottom line, travelers should check with individual airlines, especially when traveling internationally into the U.S., and leave extra time for check in and security at the airport.

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com

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Sarah Dallof

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