WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP) – The September 11th terrorist attacks completely altered air travel in the United States.
Every day, the Transportation Security Administration works to keep nearly three million airline passengers safe in the sky. And security measures have undergone dramatic changes, since the 9/11 terrorists attacks 18-years ago.
Flying before September 11, 2001 was much different than it is today.
“You checked in at the counter and you went to your plane. They checked an ID here and there. If someone didn’t look right, they checked ID’s,” said Doug Martin from Florida.
Then, 19 terrorists hijacked four U.S. airliners forever changing how people fly. Including Bruce Guzowski, who was on the first flight out of Boston after 9/11.
“Life was not the way it was before. This was a whole new era, whole new time. You were very aware – if anybody gets up, you keep an eye on them. it just changed air travel ever since then for me,” said Guzowski.
Official changes started when the TSA was created in November 2001.
Throughout the years, the TSA has implemented tighter security. ID checks, shoes off, laptops out, carry-on liquid limits, and pat downs.
One woman flying out of Bradley International Airport told 22News that the once controversial “full-body scanners” make her feel safer.
“Whatever they have to do for safety, is well worth it,” said Anne Cretella from Enfield, Connecticut.
There are many steps to security screenings, but TSA pre-check is now an option for flyers. This is for people who are known and trusted travelers, and allows TSA to focus on high-risk, unknown passengers, according to the TSA.
Still, one traveler told 22News she fears criminals will outsmart the current safety checks. “They are always thinking of new ways to do it,” said Phillis Bostar from Atlanta.
More security changes are coming soon. Starting October 2020, Massachusetts and Connecticut residents will need a passport, or a REAL ID to board an airplane. This REAL ID proves that the person meets minimum federal security standards.