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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 1:46 p.m., Thursday, August 10, 2006

Traffic entering Maui airport squeezed into single lane

By Christie Wilson
Advertiser Staff Writer

Traffic entering Kahului Airport squeezed into a single lane today so security officers could better monitor incoming vehicles and search cars if necessary. The departure area was more crowded than usual and porters were doing brisk business from passengers trying to avoid long check-in lines.

"You want some water?" asked departing passenger Marsha Stiegel of Chicago, who was trying to get rid of several bottles of water she would have taken on her flight home under normal circumstances.

Stiegel, traveling with husband, Michael, and sons Mark, 15, and Ben, 12, said she packed her cosmetics in her luggage instead of carrying them on board. "I would've carried all of my lotions — my hand lotion, my face lotion, lip gloss, the whole thing — that I use on a long flight," she said.

"And we had to empty out the boys' backpacks down to nothing because who knows what things teenagers have in there. I was thinking about that squirt candy that's like a liquid."

The Stiegels learned of the new security measures from watching the news last night and this morning, and arrived about 30 minutes to 40 minutes earlier than usual.

"The fact that we can check our luggage through from Aloha to American to Chicago is fabulous," Stiegel said.

She said she wasn't concerned about a safe flight home. "As I said to one of my kids last night, 'Today might be one of the safest days to travel,'" she said.

T.J. Cravey of Jacksonville, Fla., normally likes to cut it close when he travels, arriving at the airport about a half-hour before departure. But yesterday Cravey, 25, and wife Rhonda, 23, showed up at Kahului Airport two hours before their inter-island flight. Their hotel had passed out fliers advising visitors of the new restrictions.

Cravey said he didn't mind the delays too much. "As long as it's safer. I'm sure after a month or so it will be back to normal," he said.