It’s 24 hours since the federal Department of Homeland Security raised the nation’s “terror threat level” to orange, second-highest on a scale created after 9-11. Amy von Walter with the Transportation Safety Administration says Iowa travelers don’t have to anticipate big changes as a result. She says there may be a few more police officers around the terminal, but the security checkpoint procedures remain the same. Von Walter says by remembering what they screen, you can help the line move along smoothly. She says remove laptops from the case, take off a coat, and get out any large amount of metal like money or jewelry so you don’t set off alarms that require a secondary screening process. Von Walter says if you’re traveling with high-tech toys, they’ll be examined carefully.She says from laptops to Game Boys, they’ll have to come out of the case for a look, and small things like a cellphone can remain in your purse or carry-on. Von Walter spoke from the Minneapolis airport this afternoon, where she has an office and where she spoke to reporters today among the holiday travelers waiting at ticket counters. Her observations traveling are that passengers are polite and often thank the security workers, even two years after the terrorist attacks of 9-11, for helping keep them and their families safe.
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