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Traveling - And You Have to Take Shoes Off?

My last trip by air was a rather interesting venture. It all started at the airport. I live in the Pittsburgh, Pa. area and this particular trip was made in the dead of winter. Well for those that know anything about Pittsburgh in the wintertime, there is often a lot of cold and snowy weather. Well this time was no exception. Here I am bundled up in a winter coat, boots up to my knees and carrying the required limit of carry-on luggage. Being that I considered myself a knowledgeable traveler, I had made sure that I had followed the guidelines very carefully and had only the correct types and amounts of pills, potions and lotions in my bag. I was ready to go through the scanning processes. So I stood in line for a while, and then it was my turn. I stepped up and the first thing that I was told was, Mam you have to take off your boots. I said well, I dont have anything in my boots except my feet, (actually they were so tight that I couldnt possibly have put anything else in the boots). Again I was told that I had to remove my boots. Well, I had already taken off my oversized winter coat, had opened up my purse and carry-on bag, and I sure did not want to have to take off the boots too. But, I did what I was told, holding up the line even longer. I had all I could do to get the boots off. By this time, I felt as if my stuff was everywhere. After eventually making it through the screening process successfully, bare feet and all, I decided that I would share not only my experience, but also why they go through this.

In August of 2006, the threat level for all air travel was raised to a high or orange level. The process of screening shoes can help identify anything out of the ordinary including explosives. With the screening machines in place, the screening officers can tell if a shoe has been tampered with. So, removing and screening our shoes, increases our security. This is meant to protect those that travel against protecting against terrorist threats and attacks.

For all of those that travel by air, you are required to remove any footwear, including, boots and shoes before proceeding through the walk-through machines. If you decide that you dont want to do this, then you will not be allowed to travel on your scheduled flight. You can wear disposable booties or slippers to help you protect your feet, but you will have to throw these away before you leave the screening area. I hope that this will help all travelers understand the reasons and requirements regarding your footwear when getting ready to go through the screening area at the airport.



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