UPI: Sept. 11 left in its wake a much-changed U.S. air travel system, including lost time, higher costs and mixed emotions, observers said.
Although 81 percent of travelers indicated in a Reason-Rupe survey they now feel more secure at airports, more than 50 percent indicated they sacrificed too much in personal freedoms to achieve that sense of security, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.
Changes since Sept. 11, 2001, at the nation's airports include a two-year slump in air travel that helped spur the rise in discount airlines, the Journal said. However, time spent stuck in airports has increased so dramatically that revenue at airports -- at restaurants, bars and gift shops -- has grown 40 percent to $1.4 billion per year from 2001 to 2009, Airports Council International North America reported.
Airlines have beefed up security but now charge innumerable fees for checked luggage, escorting a minor from town to town, for snacks, blankets, and securing a place in a line that boards passengers earlier than others -- call it the price of boredom -- which generally costs about $10, the Journal said.
Patdowns, luggage searches, shoe-removals and other hassles of the new security systems are only part of the changes air travel has seen in the past 10 years. In part, the question is how many changes will passengers tolerate and whether the changes will go too far.
"The further we get from 9/11, the less willing people are to tolerate it," says Kate Hanni, executive director of FlyersRights.org.