Football and flights had very little in common. Until now.
The start of the NFL season brought its usually array of excitement and anticipation as another year of pro football seemingly kicked off with business as usual.
Then, the NFL committed a costly fumble. The league instituted a clear bag policy for those attending games with security at the forefront for the live crowds. This decision is definitely one that made perfect sense given the tragic events that took place at The Boston Marathon earlier in the year.
The NFL tripped up a bit at the proverbial goal line, however, with its communication, or lack thereof, to fans en route the game. Kudos to the NFL for being proactive when it comes to security, but the league's execution left a lot to be desired.
Long lines and upset fans flocked to games, and some were forced to ditch their bags, purses or carrying cases on the spot in favor of clear bags provided by the NFL. The new clear bag policy follows strict dimensions of 12" x 6" x 12" and the bags must be able to be searched easily and quickly.
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The downside to the bag policy isn't its purpose or implementation but rather a legion of female fans, mostly, who were forced to make the long walk back to the car after they pretty much dumped their purse into a much smaller, plastic clear bag.
Fast forward to halfway through the NFL season, and the bag policy still is one that surprises some of the more casual fans heading through the gates. This clear bag initiative isn't anything new as airports also administer its own brand of watch dog for the general public when it comes to packing liquids or gels as part of your luggage.
With all this emphasis on packing your belongings within the confines of a clear bag, what is the best way to circumvent the annoyance of being stopped at airport or stadium security?
The easiest way to maneuver through the airport is to adhere to the 3.4 ounce rule when it comes to bottles. All liquids brought on to the plane must be in a bottle no bigger than the aforementioned 3.4 ounce bottle as well as packed inside a clear bag. You'd also do yourself a big favor by checking out the rules when it comes to medication put forth by TSA (Transportation Security Administration).
As far as the NFL goes, they did well by some fans by giving them some free clear plastic bags during the first week on games this year. After that, you're on your own. But don't worry, you can get an acceptable, clear plastic bag for all the games you attend, and the bag also has your team's logo on it.
Convoluted communication aside, the NFL and TSA aren't interested in frustrating their respective customers but rather want to create an atmosphere that puts you at ease. The clear bag policy wasn't meant to make you visibly mad but rather another means to ensure safety.
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