MINNEAPOLIS -- Northwest Airlines said it would begin booking some flights Thursday, but travelers are likely to endure longer waits at the Twin Cities airport during an indefinite tightening of security.
After two days of canceled flights following Tuesday's hijackings and terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the airline said it would book flights for 6 p.m. Thursday or later.
However, according to Patrick Hogan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, "There's going to be a new definition for normal" because of the new security measures, which he called the most stringent in the history of American aviation.
Hogan outlined the security measures at Minneapolis-St. Paul International:
-- Security checkpoints will be fewer, with more security people standing by.
-- Short-term parking at the Lindbergh terminal, the Twin Cities' main terminal, has been closed because of a Federal Aviation Administration order that no parking be allowed within 300 feet of terminals. That means parking has been reduced by about half.
-- Curbside check-in is being eliminated and only ticketed passengers will be allowed beyond checkpoints.
-- All carry-on baggage will be subject to search and all checked baggage will be screened.
-- No knives -- reportedly among the weapons used in at least one of the hijackings -- were to be allowed past checkpoints.
All flights from the Twin Cities were canceled Wednesday. The main terminal at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was nearly empty when the cancellations were announced, as police had cleared the building and a smaller terminal for a systematic search for any suspicious objects.
Nothing was found in the sweeps.
The cancellations meant a second day of waiting for Donna Bailey of Waterloo, Iowa, who was trying to fly to Tucson, Ariz., to see family members.
"It's nerve-racking, especially if you're traveling by yourself," she said.
Later Wednesday, Northwest Airlines said some international flights delayed in the Twin Cities on Tuesday would be allowed to resume. At least four international flights that had been diverted were expected to fly into the Twin Cities Wednesday evening, airport officials said.
Elsewhere, a possible strike by thousands of state employees was postponed for two weeks, to Oct. 1, because of the attacks.
But much of ordinary Minnesota life was resuming.
The Mall of America and the 51-story IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis -- the state's tallest building -- both were open again Wednesday after being evacuated Tuesday.
Public Safety Commissioner Charlie Weaver said a bomb threat was made Wednesday against the IDS Center. The threat was taken seriously, but the building was not evacuated, he said.
Schools were open and state buildings were open. Federal court buildings were open and conducting business, though under the same heightened security as Tuesday.
Many Minnesotans were concerned about gasoline supplies, and long lines were reported Tuesday evening at some Twin Cities and outstate gas stations. Weaver urged people not to stockpile gas.
Barb Buchholz, a spokeswoman for AAA's Minnesota/Iowa chapter, said Tuesday's attack shouldn't affect fuel supplies and also urged motorists not to stockpile gas.
Still, Weaver and Commerce Commissioner Jim Bernstein said gouging was going on. Bernstein said he had talked to two retailers who had hiked prices and asked them to lower their prices. One said he would think about it.
"One of them said as long as people are going to pay $4 per gallon, I'm going to charge $4 a gallon," Bernstein said.
"My advice to consumers would be remember," Weaver said. "Remember who is gouging you. You don't have to show up there anymore."
Insurance companies nationwide expected a big hit from Tuesday's attacks. The St. Paul Companies, one of the area's largest insurers, said it would be weeks before they knew the financial impact of the attacks.
A Best Buy Corp. spokeswoman confirmed that one of the company's Sam Goody stores near the World Trade Center was destroyed when the towers fell. The store was empty at the time, Jenny Bohuslavsky said.
Another Best Buy spokeswoman, Joy Harris, said 900 to 950 stores were closed on Tuesday because of the attack, many of them because the malls where they're located were shut down. She had no information on how the single-day closures might affect the company.
Before flights were canceled on Wednesday, hundreds of people lined the curbs outside the Lindbergh terminal at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. People smoked, read, listened to music on headphones or tried to catch a nap sprawled on their bags.
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