CHANTILLY, Va. (AP) -- Airline passengers had their airport routines sharply altered after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and now the way they're protected has changed as well.
The new Transportation Security Administration took over responsibility for airline security Sunday, the first step toward a system where better-trained, higher-paid federal employees screen passengers and luggage.
Passengers at Washington Dulles International Airport were pleased with the changes, even if security is tougher.
Tanie Guy, an Oracle Corp. employee, now arrives two hours early at the airport. "They're a bit stricter, to say the least," he said before going through the security checkpoint en route to San Francisco.
"If a private organization does it, they're looking to make money so they're cutting costs and cutting corners in order to make money," said Brandon Buhai of Chicago, departing O'Hare Airport, also for San Francisco. "You hope cost is not as much of a concern to the government."
Travelers, however, said the security changes they observed Sunday weren't dramatic.
"I was with passengers a lot, and they really didn't notice any difference," said Melanie Miller, a spokeswoman for Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
Employees have not been given any new instructions, said American Airlines spokesman John Hotard. "We've always reinforced that they need to do their jobs," he said.
At Boston's Logan Airport, originating point for the two jetliners that crashed into the World Trade Center Sept. 11, there were no outward signs of the federal takeover.
The only things passengers will notice at first are chairs to sit on when asked to remove their shoes to be checked for explosives, said John Magaw, undersecretary for transportation security. In addition, travelers inspected with handheld wands will have their valuables in front of them.
"I hope that they'll notice a slight difference in the courtesy," Magaw said. "Hopefully, they won't notice anything much different than that."
Before the changeover, actions taken since Sept. 11 by the Transportation Department or mandated by Congress have tightened airline security.
The Federal Aviation Administration, which, like the airlines, handed over security responsibilities to the new TSA, has closed airport concourses and rescreened passengers because of security breaches.
Last month, the airlines began examining passengers' checked bags for explosives.
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