How to stay safe at airports


After seeing the terrorist attacks in Turkey and Brussels, there are some simple things travelers can do minimize the risks and keep themselves safe.

Thinking ahead and taking basic precautions can be the difference between being a survivor or a victim. Your goal should be getting through large, unsecured areas, through security and to the gate area as quickly as possible.

Every flyer we talked with at Indianapolis International Airport was thinking about Tuesday's terrorist attack in Turkey. Doug Nelson and his bride Megan are honeymooning in Italy.

"It’s more unnerving than it would have been a week ago," said Nelson.

Carly Santucci didn’t like the airport’s large, crowded unsecured areas.

"I feel safer when I get back to security. Right out here it’s fair game," she said.

In Brussels and Turkey, terrorists targeted the airports' crowded entrances and ticketing areas. In the Istanbul attack, one terrorist blew himself up, creating a distraction and a way in for his two co-conspirators.

Kevin Mellott of ERASE Enterprises is an expert in personal security and emergency response.  "I want to go when there is the least number of people flying and I can go right through security," he said.

Mellott recommended flying in the off hours. Terrorists target crowds, not empty spaces.

"They don’t want to come in and attack and hit me and some other guy. That is not going to be a good news story," he explained.

No matter when you fly, avoid check-in lines, use carry-on baggage, print your boarding pass ahead of time, and get squared away to get through security quickly.

"I go to the gates first so I know the layout and find the emergency exits," Mellott said.

If there is an emergency, Chuck Lawrence said he would look for his daughter first, then "run as fast as you could go," he said.

That’s if there is gunfire or explosions in the distance. But if the attackers are close by, Mellott’s advice is to fight your instincts. Don’t run. Drop to the floor. Then look for cover and hide. Running could make you an easy target.

"Where they hold the weapon is either chest or waist high. It’s going to hit anybody who is trying to run away. No one is fast enough to out run a bullet or a projectile or a bomb," Mellott explained.

At the moment attackers are distracted or reloading, run away.

"I  think you are increasing your chances of not being injured or killed by 90 percent," Mellott said.

It’s advice that can be taken to any airport in any city or country travelers fly.