Yesterday I flew from SEA to Chicago. My flight was scheduled to depart at 3:10 PM. Because of the terror plot uncovered in London and new security measures implemented by Homeland Security, my airline (Southwest) advised me to arrive at the airport 3-4 hours before flight time. I got there about 5 hours early, and that was almost not enough. I had to check a bag, 90 minutes in line, and then I spent nearly 3 hours in the security line. At SEA they made us go to a lower level, cross a skyway into the parking garage, snake our way through the garage, back across the skyway, up to the ticketing level and finally snake through to security. There were LOTS of local police in uniform and surely many more in plain clothes. At security every carry on item was scrutinized, documents checked one more time, and passengers dumb enough to have any form of liquid, gel or paste still with them were moved to the side for special examination. A lot of us were travelling solo, so there were no bathroom breaks or a chance to buy a snack until we were in the gate area. It was the first time in a long while I saw lines leading to a men's room!
As it turned out, Southwest was holding flights to allow as many passengers as possible who missed their original flights to be rebooked. My plane arrived in SEA OT but we left 100% full about 25 minutes late. We almost made it back to Chicago on schedule but a minor medical emergency (there was an MD on board who tended to the sick passenger) and a passing thunderstorm caused us to arrive 18 minutes late. Considering the uncertainty with what was going on in England I commend the Posrt of Seattle, TSA and WN for taking charge and keeping a very bad situation from escalating into something truly ugly.