At the world's busiest airport for passengers, Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta, the morning rush was a mess, with delays stretching beyond two hours. But things quickly improved, as word spread about what could and could not be taken beyond the security checkpoint.
We have seen minimal flight delays, and people seem to be taking all of this largely in stride. Two women we encountered literally spent five minutes pulling one container after another of sunscreen, hand sanitizer, hair gel, perfume, contact lens bottles, shampoos, conditioners out of their bags -- all of which they tossed in the garbage -- smiling as they went along. I asked them how much money they were tossing away. "25 to 30 bucks!"
But there were glimpses of frustration. One man who had to toss out a new bottle of mouthwash, along with a few other toiletries, said he resented being forced to deal with this kind of security screening before a business meeting in a few hours. "It's a pain (in the backside)," he said, before angrily tossing his goods away.
As airport managers here and across the nation have cautioned all day, passengers are in the best position to help keep operations running as smoothly as possible, by checking all their possessions and limiting carry-ons to absolute essentials.