How Traveling in the USA Has Changed Since 9/11

Airport Terminal

Once upon a time, people would go to an airport gate, show their passport and board a plane. This isn’t the case anymore. Since the 9/11 attacks, the world of travel has changed tremendously, and particularly in the USA, where the impact has been both practical and psychological. While both domestic and international travel has recovered since the attacks all those years ago, the travel industry itself has actually changed completely.

How Has 9/11 Affected Travelers?

A lot of things have changed since that faithful day and travelers are affected by this. Changes include:

  • Tighter airport security.
  • Restricted access to airports.
  • Long lines in terminals.
  • Having to arrive at the airport earlier.
  • Extensive hand luggage checks.
  • The inability to carry liquids on board.
  • Fully body scans.
  • More frequent random screening.
  • Having formal identification even for local and domestic flights.

How 9/11 Has Affected Planes

Airports are not the only areas that have changed since 9/11. Airplanes themselves have changed too. All larger US passenger aircrafts now have cockpit doors that were hardened. Additionally, almost every flight has an undercover federal air marshal on board. This may seem over the top, but one passenger on a plane was recently shot by a marshal after they were found to be carrying a bomb.airport security

What about Psychological Issues?

It is a known fact that Americans like to travel, but they have made significant changes. No longer do many Americans travel to Asia or the Middle East. Pakistan and India are almost fully avoided now. The most important thing, however, is that people try to be more informed about their destination. They want to know where they are going, what the local culture is, whether it is politically stable and more.

What about Insurance

Finally, there have been significant changes to the insurance industry as well. Once upon a time, insurance policies would only cover people against terror attacks if they were committed abroad. Now, however, people want to be covered nationally as well. This has caused a surge in premiums and people are often scrutinizing their policies to make sure they are actually covered against every eventuality.

Has it Spelled the End of Travel?

So have the 9/11 attacks effectively ruined traveling? Absolutely not! It has made us more careful, and it has made our governments more suspicious. Sure, traveling now takes a little bit longer, but most of us are happy to give up that time for our own collective safety, even if many of us also believe it is like Orwell’s 1984. People simply love to travel. They love to explore the world and get to know new destinations. provides the best rates on Tauck Tours, for instance, and they have seen an increase in the number of people who are booking on tours since 9/11. Yes, there was a short term dip in popularity, but it seems that people are once again feeling confident about traveling the world and enjoying their time off.

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