Amid holiday travel rush, TSA heightens security - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Amid holiday travel rush, TSA heightens security

Security lines were long at Honolulu International Airport on Wednesday, but travelers were also moving through the required screening quickly.

Most had no idea the Transportation Security Administration had recently tightened security procedures.

"I went really quickly. I didn't notice really anything," said traveler Julie Lovett.

Traveler Susan Bada and her daughter arrived at the airport two and a half hours early to catch their flight to San Jose.

"My husband left a couple days ago so we knew how the line was going," she said.

 TSA officials said arriving early is a good idea, given the tighter security and holiday travel rush.

In light of recent terror attacks and threats, TSA agents can now require all passengers to go through the body scanner. Previously, passengers had the choice of opting for an agent to physically pat them down.

For security reasons, TSA officials declined to say when those measures would be applied. "This will occur in a very limited number of circumstances where enhanced screening is required. The vast majority of passengers will not be affected," TSA said in a statement.

Travelers didn't seem concerned by the heightened security measure, and some applauded it.

"It doesn't really bother me too much. If you got nothing to hide you might as well go through," said traveler Trent McKenna.

Another reason for the change was a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Inspector General report that uncovered major security breaches.

Investigators discovered they were able to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints 95 percent of the time. In some cases, agents weren't able to find the contraband during pat downs.

Most travelers we talked to say they'd rather err on the side of caution.

"I think it's good. Security, it makes me feel safer," said Lovett.

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