Many Layers Of Security, One Layer Of Stuff

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Looking for inside advice on how to make it through airport security lines today as quickly as possible? Here's a tip from the pros: "Think layers. One layer of clothes, one layer of electronics."

That's from the Transportation Security Administration's new 60-second video on how to pack bags, starring volunteers from the TSA workforce. The spot, distributed by the agency for use in airports nationwide, is intended to streamline security for throngs of holiday travelers.

"It's not the same people who fly every day, not your savvy business travelers who are the real warriors, and that's the biggest challenge," said Sterling Payne, the TSA spokeswoman who wrote the script for the spot.

The ultimate advice is not, as Payne admits, that revolutionary.

"It's things like having your boarding pass out and ready to present to the travel checker, and dressing for security, having outer layers ready to remove."

Layering is important, beyond sartorial choices. As the spot points out, it's easier to screen electronics if they are spread out in a single layer inside carry-on bags.

The video, shot at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, was produced for $10,000 by Home Front Communications. The same firm produced video news releases on the benefits of the new Medicare law in 2004 that the Government Accountability Office said violated the government ban on publicity and propaganda.

"For a 60-second spot, this was done in a very cost-efficient manner. Spots like this for government agencies can cost two to three times this much," Home Front's Dan Sallick said.

-- Rachel Dry

© 2007 The Washington Post Company