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Reports of suspicious activity cause travel headaches after Boston blasts

Twitter user WahWhoWah, used with permission

Passengers jam the departures ramp at LaGuardia after the central terminal was temporarily evacuated Tuesday morning following reports of a suspicious package.

Several instances of suspicious activity led to major disruptions at travel hubs around the nation on Tuesday, a day after two explosions rocked the Boston Marathon, killing 3 and injuring scores.

Among Tuesday's activities:

  • Planes were backed up on the runway at Dallas/Forth Worth as a bomb robot investigated a suspicious object, which turned out to be a small tire;
  • LaGuardia Airport was given the all-clear after passengers were evacuated from Central Terminal following after reports of a suspicious package;
  • all passengers on a US Airways jet were removed at Boston Logan after reports of a suspicious package or bag;
  • a United Airlines jet leaving Logan for Chicago returned to the gate and two passengers were removed, Massport Director of Media Relations Matthew Brelis told NBC News. Reportedly two passengers were heard speaking Arabic and were placed on another flight;
  • a Cleveland transit area was given the all-clear after being evacuated because of a suspicious package.

Reports of suspicious activity spike after major incidents such as the Boston blasts, authorities say. Officials, in fact, encourage reporting -- "see something, say something" -- from the public.

An anxious mood had already begun to set in Monday afternoon among travelers moments after the bombs went off in Boston. NBC News contributor Harriet Baskas flew from Seattle arrived at JFK shortly after the blasts. "Crowds were already huddled around TV monitors watching live shots from the scene," said Baskas. "There was a 'where next?' 9/11 vibe as passengers began to tell others what was happening."

Pamela Wamback of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is in New York for a conference and is worried about going home tomorrow from JFK airport. "I've traveled enough to know that heightened security measures means I need to go to the airport much earlier than usual. And that is going to cut into my shopping time," she told NBC News.

However, despite a few early morning false alarms, travelers reported smooth operations by later afternoon. "No worries," said Heather Whaling, who is traveling home to Columbus, Ohio, from New York's LaGuardia Airport. "Security was thorough, but efficient. Pretty impressive." 

NBC News' Jay Blackman and contributor Harriet Baskas contributed to this report.