How to minimize hassle at DTW?
December 28, 2009 10:03 AM   Subscribe

Airport/airplane security-filter: have you flown from DTW since yesterday?

I have a 10am flight from DTW to BWI on Wednesday. I am flying on Northwest/Delta. I need to check one bag, and there is no way I can avoid doing so. My questions are:

1) How much time should I leave myself to get through security?

2) Any specific new security measures I should be aware of? In particular, are liquids in containers of < 3oz still ok?

Bonus question:

3) I've heard that one is not allowed to access personal items during the last hour of a flight. Is this only true of international flights to the US, or does it also apply to flights within the US? Does that mean that I'm not allowed to, e.g., read a book or listen to my iPod during that time?
posted by number9dream to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
According to reports on Flyertalk, the lavatory / electronics restriction is for international flights only. Also, according to a post there:

TSA has apparently already modified SD 1544-09-06 as of Monday 28 Dec 2009, and is reportedly (reliably, I might add,) airline crews are being told now by TSA passengers CAN access the lav, and IFE [in-flight-entertainment] is OK, within an hour of landing in the US from international points of departure.

I just got back from the Cleveland airport. Security screening procedures there appeared to me to be pretty much the same as before and I noticed no extra scrutiny or security theatre procedures. It took me no longer to clear security in CLE than normal.

(I got back after clearing security because I voluntarily got bumped from my morning flight, in exchange for compensation. Profit!)

YMMV in Detroit, of course.
posted by QuantumMeruit at 10:17 AM on December 28, 2009

Also, FWIW, I have a friend flying today from Bermuda to Canada, connecting in the US.

He said that they just announced at the gate (in Bermuda) that there will be extra security screening at the gate. You know, just in case you purchased some bomb-making materials at the duty free shop.

But he said that no extra time was required to get past initial security to the gate.
posted by QuantumMeruit at 10:22 AM on December 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

I flew an international flight to the US on Saturday when the procedures went into effect. I read my book throughout the last hour and my boyfriend listened to his iPod until the normal "turn off electronic devices" message.

So, I can't say whether or not it applies/will apply to domestic flights, but even if it does, I think you'll be okay with a book and an iPod. My understanding was that they don't want you rummaging in your bag, but if you already have your stuff out, you'll be fine.
posted by cabingirl at 10:28 AM on December 28, 2009

I had a 10:30 AM flight on NWA/Delta from DTW to DCA yesterday morning and had to check one bag. I got to the airport about 1 hour and 45 minutes before the flight took off and I'm glad I did. The check-in line for passengers who had not checked-in online before arriving at the airport stretched half the length of McNamara Terminal and was moving incredibly slowly. The line for people who had checked-in prior to being dropped off at DTW and who just needed to hand-off their luggage was a fraction of the size (not even past the rope lines), and it moved relatively quickly. If I hadn't checked in before I arrived at DTW, I doubt I would have made my flight. As it was, it was only 10 minutes after I'd walked to the gate before they started boarding.

So, my advice would be to

1.) check-in online before you reach the airport and print out your boarding pass/receipt (NWA/Delta staff were asking to see people's boarding passes before letting them join the baggage check line).

2.) get there at least 1.5 hours ahead of time.

It's possible that yesterday's crush was just because it was right after the holiday and a lot of people were flying since they had to report to work today, but better safe than sorry, I think.

Also, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to read/listen to an iPod (e.g., have anything on my lap), given the new security procedures, but nothing was said about this on my flight. I think it's probably just international flights right now.
posted by longdaysjourney at 10:28 AM on December 28, 2009

This may or may not be helpful as it is not DTW specific, but I took a flight departing from Logan yesterday; getting through security took as long as it normally did, but there was additional TSA screening at the gate during boarding (which I have never heard of before).
posted by shownomercy at 12:01 PM on December 28, 2009

Gizmodo, Gawker's gadget blog, had two posts on the new security rules.
posted by ellieBOA at 2:35 PM on December 28, 2009

I just heard on the news at 6 PM today that the 1 hour bathroom / electronics rule is at the airlines discretion. My father in law flew in to Reagan from Indy on Saturday and reported no unusual hassles due to security. It did however, take us longer to drive 45 miles home than it did for him to fly 600 miles.
posted by COD at 3:11 PM on December 28, 2009

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