- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 26, 2006

1:33 p.m.

Travelers showed up at airports with toiletries stored in zip-top plastic bags today as they tried to comply with new security rules allowing them to carry on small amounts of liquids and gels.

“I was thrilled to hear yesterday that actually you can carry mascara on the plane,” said Val Chamberlain of Atlanta, who showed security screeners a plastic bag filled with mascara and small toiletries.

Beginning today, liquid and gel toiletries in 3-ounce containers or smaller are allowed if they are in a clear plastic quart-size or smaller reclosable bag. Some items were permitted in any amount: saline solution, eye drops and prescription and nonprescription medicine, according to Transportation Security Administration spokesman Christopher White.

Drinks, liquids and gels bought in airport stores inside security checkpoints can be carried into passenger cabins; baby formula is allowed but will be inspected.

Jim Smith of the TSA said most passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport came prepared and brought toiletries in plastic bags. Others first learned of the relaxed guidelines only after arriving and scrambled to throw away larger items or find plastic bags for toiletries.

At Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Ginni and Edward Dewbray were stopped at the security line and told if they wanted to bring a small bottle of Oil of Olay lotion onto their flight to North Carolina, they would have to put it in a clear plastic bag. Edward Dewbray asked several other travelers for a bag and eventually found one.

“It’s an inconvenience,” Ginni Dewbray said. “If they’re going to stand there and ask you to have plastic bags, they should give them out. They’re not that expensive.”

Pat Henderson, of Palm Coast, Fla., was among those who did not want to bother with the new guidelines; he threw away the deodorant and toothpaste in his carry-on before entering the security check line at the Atlanta airport.

“It’s not worth the hassle,” he said. “I just don’t want to deal with it.”

Keith Fogarty, 45, of Norwood, Mass., was asked to check a small bag after trying to carry it through the US Airways security checkpoint at Boston’s Logan International Airport.

Mr. Fogarty said he was aware some rule changes were taking effect didn’t know what they were.

“There’s too many rules,” he said. “I don’t bother paying attention. I just wait until I get here, and they’ll tell me what to do. If I have to check the bag, I check the bag.”

In Washington, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the new rules “are likely to be with us for the foreseeable future.” Testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee, Mr. Chertoff said the new rules would be in place for at least six weeks, but he declined to say whether they would remain as long as six months.

Trash bins outside airport security checkpoints were filled with forbidden items. By 8 a.m., a trash bin at a checkpoint in Atlanta was 3 feet deep with water bottles and 16-ounce containers of toiletries, including shaving gel and hand lotion.

Though the new guidelines require items to be stored in bags that are quart-size or smaller, TSA officials in Atlanta allowed passengers to board planes with items stored in 1-gallon bags since today was the first day the new rules were being enforced.

If a passenger brings a container larger than 3 ounces, it must be put in checked baggage.

An outright ban on liquids, lotions and gels, ordered Aug. 10 after a plot to bomb U.S.-bound jetliners was foiled, is no longer needed, Transportation Security Administration chief Kip Hawley said yesterday.

After testing a variety of explosives, the FBI and other laboratories found that tiny amounts of substances — so small that they fit into a quart-size plastic bag — can’t blow up an airliner.

Leslie Walker of Plano, Texas, was planning to carry her makeup and drinks for her 5-year-old daughter and 18-month-old son onto their flight from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to El Paso.

“It was really a relief to know that I didn’t have to get here this morning and repack everything. It saved me a little time,” she said.

Chase Goodwin, 56, of Los Angeles, chugged liquid ginseng, which he drinks for health reasons, from a small bottle before going through security in Chicago.

“The way the world is going, you can only be so careful. It’s a hindrance to some, but it doesn’t bother me,” he said of the security rules.

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