Earlier this week, some of our wonderful Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel helped remind our local community of the reasons behind the procedures that are in place to ensure our safety and also inform us on how we can make this important process as easy as possible while traveling through airports such as our own. Lisa Farbstein, Public Affairs Manager for the TSA went through many helpful tips and safety precautions we should take while traveling.
The first thing that she recommended in order to save time when going through the security checkpoint is to have your ID and boarding pass in your hand, ready to go. Also take your shoes off in advance and if possible, wear slip on shoes to save you time. Lisa went through the reasons why this is asked of travelers and explained that someone had snuck explosives into the cabin of an airplane in their shoes. By taking off your shoes before boarding a plane, it gives TSA a better chance to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. Lisa also mentions that you should take everything out of your pocket, including tissues, cellphones and wallets. Any liquid or gels that are being brought in your carry on should follow the 3-1-1 rule meaning they should be in a container not exceeding 3.4 ounces, should all fit into a 1 quart bag and you should only have 1 bag at a time. By following this rule, it will make it easier and faster to get through TSA. Lisa recommends that you bring an empty bottle of water to fill up after passing through the line so that it saves you money and the hassle of purchasing a drink after going through security.
Another rule that is commonly forgotten about, or may be unfamiliar to many travelers is taking your laptop out of your bag and placing it into a separate bin for the screening process. This makes it easier for TSA to check and make sure nothing is hidden within the laptop to ensure that everything is safe. She showed us many examples of laptops with altered batteries and chargers in which explosives or drugs may have been smuggled. By taking your laptop out of your bag, TSA will be more likely to catch any altered laptops before entering the cabin of an airplane. Some other examples that Lisa gave of altered items were crutches, food, an innocent teddy bear and a game boy. She explained that the rules that are in place at the TSA checkpoint line are intended to give them a closer look at the everyday items that we may think are innocent but can potentially be used to conceal something that would harm others safety.
If you have questions of what items may or may not be allowed into the cabin of a plane, you can search any item at this website: http://bit.ly/1EmutNb or download the My TSA app and search there. It is important to remind people of the rules that are enforced because it is very common for people to forget them and why they are there. In the end, it is for your safety and the safety of others!
Some people find it hard to say they can drive a car for 16 years without any kind of accident resulting in damage; including opening the car door just a little too wide in the garage. At Greater Binghamton Airport American Airlines can successfully claim they have been accident and damage free for the past 16 years. This is not to say that flights haven’t been delayed or canceled for a maintenance issue at BGM before. This means that the BGM American Airlines staff has not had an accident or caused damage to an aircraft for the past 16 years. Lisa Schwartz, General Manager of American Airlines at Greater Binghamton Airport (BGM) explains in detail how they have been able to maintain their 16 years of success.
“American Airlines is big on safety. Safety is their #1 priority.” explains Schwartz. To ensure safety and prevent incidents to aircraft, she explains “Every day we do safety briefings.” Schwartz continued to explain a safety inspector visited BGM last week to observe and assess all operations. At the end of the safety inspection, American Airlines at BGM was minimal points away from a perfect score. In the past at all regions of American Airlines, workers have had incidents such as luggage carts hitting aircraft, power plug covers being left open, and power plugs being pulled out of the sockets in the aircraft as ground vehicles drive away with the units. To reduce these incidents, all American Airline’s Staff receive extensive training in a position before they can begin performing essential duties. When they begin working with American Airlines, employees will only observe the jobs they will be performing. After they are slightly acclimated to the job, they will attend a training school hosted by American Airlines. At the school, employees working at the ticket counter will be trained for 3 weeks, and ground staff will train for 1 week. Once this phase is complete, they return to the airport to continue their safety training and other specific needs to the airport.
For their success, airport divisions receive awards from American Airlines for the managers to display. For their continued success, Schwartz explains she rewards her staff with little parties once a month with pizza or cake to reinforce their hard work. “It’s something we do to say hey, thanks!” stated Schwartz as she expounded on the employees success.
For travelers flying with American Airlines, they can feel secure with the increased amount of safety implementations. Schwartz explained how American Airlines takes pride in their safety success. While there may be delays and possibly cancellations due to maintenance, weather, and crew issues, the BGM American Airlines staff is committed to continued safety success. After all, who wants to get on a plane that isn’t safe! The team here understands that and to continue the service to their customers, American Airlines at the Greater Binghamton Airport will strive to maintain their safety success for many years to come.