Despite hours-long waits, travelers unfazed, defiant

Passengers took in stride new security measures at San Francisco International Airport on Thursday, albeit a stride that snaked the length of a football field through the International Terminal.

Most had come prepared for the ban of all liquids and gels from carry-on baggage, including eye drops, medication without the passenger’s name on it and deodorant, leaving some to quip they were bound for a thirsty and stinky ride. Some dumped miniature Head & Shoulders and kids’ juice containers into orange trash bags carried the length of the line by security

officials.

Outside at the curb, the orange trash bags full of lotions and wine bottles piled up cab-high in the backs of oversized pickup trucks to be carted off to the trash.

“[The airport] hasn’t been a bad experience, but the whole situation is really tragic that we have to worry in this way,” said Brighid Brady-Delambert, a former Burlingame resident who was relocating with her family to Milan, Italy.

Exactly when the heightened security level, which is expected to continue through the weekend, will be discontinued depends on a risk assessment at the national level, SFO duty manager Dan

D’Innocenti said.

Mother and daughter Halina and Alexandra Novak, both Bay Area residents, arrived three hours early for a flight to Poland, where they were going to visit family.

“We got nervous when we heard, but [the terrorists] want to scare us, so we can’t let them,” Halina said with a clenched fist.

Alexandra said she had repacked her luggage, removing her lotions, toothpaste and shampoo from her carry-on baggage when her mother called after hearing about the ban on the television Thursday morning.

Jack O’Neil, traveling with his son from Las Vegas to Hong Kong, said that while the lines were long, SFO was better organized and less confusing than Las Vegas.

“We were standing in line for the security checkpoint and we saw little perfume bottles and shampoo bottles lying all over the floor,” O’Neil said of the Las Vegas airport.

Many passengers landing from Australia or Japan had no idea about the arrests in connection with the alleged bomb plot in London and were surprised to find heightened security measures in place.

“One thing is for sure, we’re going to get better at this [totday],” D’Innocenti said, noting that airport officials had already made adjustments from when the alert was first

instituted.

ecarpenter@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

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