BOSTON (CBS) — Memorial Day weekend traditionally kicks off the busy summer travel season. And this year, at least one airline industry group expects a four-percent increase in travelers in U.S. airports.
It could add up to 100,000 more travelers a day!
Given the crowds and the ongoing security concerns, how can you be a safer, smarter traveler?
Eric McNulty, Director of Research at Harvard’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative said it’s easy if you follow these five steps:
1. Earbuds out.
Don’t deprive yourself of one of your senses. “That second or two that you pick up because you hear something first could keep you alive,” McNulty pointed out.
2. Have an exit strategy.
Know how you would get out of the airport by identifying the nearby exits.
3. If you’re traveling in a group, decide on two meeting points if you’re separated.
McNulty suggested picking one inside the airport (a coffee shop or news stand) where you can wait comfortably if you have to and a second meeting point outside the airport if you have to evacuate.
4. Get on the same channel.
Everyone in your party should decide how you’re communicating if you’re separated. Remember, in some emergencies, cell phones and e-mail don’t work. McNulty said one suggestion is an app called What’s App. In at least one terrorist attack overseas, even police had to use the app to communicate because everything else was down.
5. Be ready for TSA.
Organize your belongings so that you can quickly move through security. The less time TSA agents spend with false alarms, the more time they can spend paying attention to potential threats.
McNulty applauds Massport, TSA and Massachusetts State Police for their combined efforts to make Logan a safe, secure airport. He calls travelers “active participants” in that work.
“The more engaged we are. The more we can help them help us have a safe and secure experience,” he said.