Expert advice for travelers with some airports on security alert

CLEVELAND - The lines were moving as they normally do at the security checkpoint at Hopkins Airport on Monday. 

Airports across the country that have direct international flights were put on additional alert because of that U.S. State Department warning of a potential terrorist attack. However, airport spokeswoman Jackie Mayo said Hopkins was not on alert because there are no direct international flights out of Cleveland. 

According to Timothy Dimoff, CEO of Security and Consulting Services of Akron, there are concerns about airlines traveling in and out of the country.

"San Francisco Airport was put on some sort of low level alert," he said. "Other airports where there are flights coming in and out from international countries, they're putting those on what we call additional alert."

US embassies in 19 cities in the Middle East and North Africa are closed at least through the end of this week because of the threat. 

Dimoff said travel to those areas should be postponed for now.  People going to other parts of the world should be aware of their surroundings.

"If you're going to areas that are not on the targeted list that has been identified, I think you can be relatively calm about that," he said. "But once again, even those people should be keeping their eyes and ears open for any type of strange behavior, strange people, people acting odd, people following you, people looking at you.  You basically need to be on your toes."

The State Department strongly recommends that U.S. citizens traveling abroad enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) which provides the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.

Cameron Beckett of New Knoxville, Ohio, was on his way to Portugal Monday.

"It's kind of unfortunate that the one time that I travel over a vast ocean on a plane for roughly 14 hours that there is a terrorist threat that came out," he said. "But it happens. There's nothing really I can do about it.  We already got the tickets so we're not changing them at this point."

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