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Barbara Bush flies coach. The First Lady flew a commercial USAir flight last week to demonstrate her confidence in beefed-up security measures instituted by the Federal Aviation Administration after the beginning of the Persian Gulf war last month. As students flock to Philadelphia International Airport to get away for Spring Break, they can expect to see the results of the highest level of nationwide security awareness the FAA has ever mandated. When the regulations were first implemented, passengers were irritated with the inconveniences and delays, airline officials said last week. But the flying public has come to expect and appreciate the new security measures. · In one of a list of new FAA regulations, passengers must check all bags inside the terminal at the ticket counter, as curbside check-in has been eliminated. Eric Russle, a skycap for USAir, said last week his job is much simpler now, adding that he has experienced a reduction in tips of at least 40 percent. "Now I bring the bags inside and that's it," he said. "The first couple of weeks, people were annoyed, but now they seem to know what to expect." Once inside the airport, passengers will immediately notice the abundance of signs concerning security. One offers security tips and suggests that passengers inform baggage handlers of all electrical items packed. Another advises passengers to be alert for suspicious items. Other signs state the laws and fines for carrying hazardous materials. FAA spokesperson Joann Sloane said that while situations in individual airports have called for increased security in the past, the FAA has never before called for maximum security on a national level. "This is the first time we have gone to level four [the FAA's highest security designation] in a comprehensive sense," she said. "Four hundred thirty-five airports are at maximum security." Philadelphia Airport Services Representative Phyllis Vanistendal said last week there are additional security personnel looking for suspicious items and people. "We are being very careful about unattended luggage," Vanistendal said. "Bags left alone will be confiscated by the police and searched." Bill Malone, superintendent of security at the Philadelphia Airport, suggested that passengers can make their trip to the airport go smoothly by arriving for flights earlier than usual and by bringing as little luggage as possible. Malone also warned that unattended cars will be towed. Another major security step has been to restrict the gate areas to people with tickets. There are also more security personnel in gate areas. Maureen McGlynn, who works at an X-ray machine in a USAir terminal at the Airport, said the new security arrangements have been working very well. "We have a very good outfit, we're very efficient, and we have good equipment," she said. Vanistendal said security officials are running more checks of passenger baggage than before the war. She said officials will be scrutinizing electrical appliances such as hair dryers and battery-operated equipment. McGlynn said she and her colleagues are asking more people to open their bags, annoying many passengers. "The majority of the people are really glad for the security," she said, "but you get a couple of ignorant people who get abusive and you just have to ignore them." Dave Shiply, assistant vice president of public relations for USAir, said the airline has brought in more technologically advanced security equipment since the regulations took effect. However, he said he could not specify what the new equipment is. · Despite the security steps, the travel industry has suffered since the war broke out. The Wall Street Journal reported declines in bookings of as much as 25 percent for airlines, hotels and cruise-ship lines. However, Associate Regional Science Profesor Stephen Gale, who is an expert on terrorism, said it is "irrational" for travelers to be afraid of flying because of terrorism. "I would not suspect airports would be the primary targets," Gale said. "Look around, nothing has happened." Gale said it is difficult to tell if the lack of terrorism is a result of good security or simply because there have been no attempts, but he said the increased security won't prevent terrorism. "The set of procedures at the airports are to prevent a hijacking," said Gale, "which is not one of the more likely scenarios." Even though the travel industry may be in a recession, the war does not seem to have greatly affected students at the University. Rosenbluth Travel in Houston Hall reported "business as usual," and University City Travel agent Karen Daquilante said they are "very busy," although students are going to different places than in previous years. "A lot of students used to go to Europe, but now they are going closer by," Daquilante said. "Most are going to Florida, but Mexico and Jamaica are still popular." Director of the Office of International Programs Joyce Randolph said the terrorism threat has not drastically affected study abroad enrollments. She said the office normally discusses security, and students have not asked an unusual amount of questions about terrorism. Enginnering sophomore Rafe Pery, who will be flying to Los Angeles over spring break, said the new security will inconvenience his family somewhat, but he understands why it has been implemented. "It means my parents won't be able to meet me at the gate, but it is reassuring," Pery said. Wharton junior Kevin Mann, however, said he will not be going home over the break because of the possible danger. "My mom said she didn't want me flying and would rather I rented a car and drove back to Oklahoma," he said. Gale said although the war has not helped, terrorism is on the upswing anyway. "As long as there are disenfranchised people, there will be terrorism," he said, but reiterated that American airports are not likely targets.

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