wmbb.com - PC Airport Passengers React to Attempted Terrorist Attack
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PC Airport Passengers React to Attempted Terrorist Attack
12/26/09 - 08:03 PM
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Mary Scott Speigner - bio
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click for larger image Panama City, Fla:

It looked like a typical holiday traveling day at the Panama City- Bay County International Airport, but many passengers were on alert.

An attempted terrorist attack on Northwest Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day has the country up in arms.  The U.S. Justice Department has charged a Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, with attempting to blow up the plane.

Nothing official has changed in security regulations at the Panama City Airport, but passengers Saturday say they came prepared anyway.

“Yeah it’s pretty scary,” said Susan Hagan, a holiday traveler flying to Atlanta.

Passengers say they expected extra security, so many came an hour earlier than usual.

“We just figured we should probably leave a little bit sooner and get over here we weren’t sure,” said Marge Fisher, trying to get home to Detroit.

Others packed their carry on bags differently, anticipating their items could be thrown away.

“I went through my whole pocketbook.  Took the mascara, out took away all the matches, made sure I didn’t have anything that was questionable,” said Hagan.

Those passengers coming in from other parts of the country say they noticed little changes in security.

“The process was very similar to what we’ve experience in the past outside of the extended lines for the holidays.  I’m a little startled that there wasn’t increased security,” said Matthew Fowler, who flew in from San Jose, California.

“I didn’t really see any difference in the security at all.  As a matter of fact, I had expected a lot more after the incident with Delta yesterday and flying with Delta today,” said Linda Shluter, flying in from Wisconsin.

Even though they say nothing has changed with baggage check, the Transportation Security Administration says to be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious behavior to police.

Airport Executive Director Randy Curtis says they are working very closely with the TSA.  “We have our own airport police department and TSA officers at the airport for security purposes.  We are conducting business as usual.”

For the most part those flying Saturday say they have total confidence in the security system, “I’m not worried about flying.  I think they’ve got it under control,” said Fisher.


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