The recent terrorist attacks in France have translated into tighter security around the world. The U.S. Embassy in Paris released a statement saying, “We strongly urge U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security.”
This is common sense advice every traveler should heed but there are other things to you should know now, according to travel expert and FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney.
LISTEN: Rick says, always keep your cool.
Airport Security – What to Know
1. Get to the airport early. Anyone who follows the news is aware of possible threats against the U.S. “The increased U.S. threat level automatically heightens airport security,” said Seaney, “which on the busiest days will slow down the airport experience. Plan accordingly, especially if you’re heading to an international destination.”
- Suggestion: Arrive an hour earlier than usual.
2. Be prepared for long lines at security. “I don’t expect people will opt-out of flying domestically during the holidays, which by many accounts will see record-breaking crowds,” said Seaney. “So expect longer lines at the airport and expect both TSA officers and passengers to have their antennae up.” This has already started; four people aboard a Spirit plane were taken off in Baltimore earlier today due to an unspecified risk (all were said to be cooperating with authorities).
- Suggestion: Join PreCheck to get through security checkpoints more quickly; Global Entry is great for international travelers (and includes PreCheck). Also, do not joke about security; it is no laughing matter and could get you arrested.
3. Crowds may rise, crowds may fall. Terrorism threats may slow ticket sales (or may not) but there’s another, traditional factor at play, said Seaney. “We are heading into the slower international transatlantic travel season, which always depresses demand.” When demand drops, airlines drop fares – until they fill their seats.
- Suggestion: Keep up with your favorite airline on Twitter. Also, set airfare alerts to keep up with changing prices.
Resources for Travelers
U.S. travelers can find the latest information – including warnings and alerts for countries around the world – at Travel.State.Gov. Also see the useful section on where to find help abroad during an emergency.