The has­sle fac­tor of fly­ing to Amer­ica is about to rise

How will added se­cu­rity rules af­fect trav­el­ers?

The Arizona Republic - - News 2 -

Fly­ing to the United States is about to get more in­con­ve­nient, all in the name of se­cu­rity.

New se­cu­rity mea­sures took ef­fect Thurs­day at air­ports around the world. A spokes­woman for the Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion said the new steps will cover about 2,100 flights a day.

Here are high­lights that you need to know.

Which air­lines and pas­sen­gers?

All of them. The new pro­ce­dures ap­ply to all flights to the U.S. from other coun­tries. They will ap­ply to both Amer­i­can cit­i­zens and for­eign­ers.

What’s new?

Trav­el­ers could face more de­tailed in­spec­tion of their elec­tronic de­vices. And they could be sub­ject to se­cu­rity in­ter­views by air­line em­ploy­ees, ac­cord­ing to a U.S. gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial. The in­ter­views could dif­fer from one air­line to an­other. Emirates said it will con­duct screen­ing in­ter­views at check-in coun­ters for pas­sen­gers leav­ing Dubai. Air France said it will pro­vide ques­tion­naires for all U.S.bound pas­sen­gers.

What should I do?

Delta Air Lines and Hong Kong’s Cathay Pa­cific Air­ways are telling in­ter­na­tional trav­el­ers to ar­rive at the air­port at least three hours be­fore their flight to al­low time for se­cu­rity screen­ing. Pri­vately, some air­line of­fi­cials worry that a ma­jor in­crease in pas­sen­ger in­ter­views could slow the board­ing process and lead to flight de­lays.

Why now?

Thurs­day is the 120day dead­line set when the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced en­hanced screen­ing pro­ce­dures for U.S.-bound flights. The mea­sures take the place of a ban on lap­tops in the cab­ins of planes com­ing from 10 air­ports in eight pre­dom­i­nantly Mus­lim coun­tries: Saudi Ara­bia, Tur­key, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jor­dan and Morocco. The ban was an­nounced in March and grew out of fear that ter­ror­ists could hide a bomb in­side a lap­top, but it was un­pop­u­lar with pas­sen­gers who had to place their elec­tron­ics in checked baggage. It was dropped in July.

Are air­lines ready?

Most say they’re ready, and they’ve had four months’ no­tice. Still, at least one car­rier, Royal Jor­da­nian, says it got an ex­emp­tion for more time to com­ply with the new rules. Vaughn Jen­nings, a spokesman for the trade group Air­lines for Amer­ica, says these are “com­plex se­cu­rity mea­sures” but the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity has been flex­i­ble, which is help­ing air­lines com­ply.

What about air­ports?

The TSA says new mea­sures in­clude stricter se­cu­rity pro­ce­dures in ter­mi­nals and around planes.

What other ser­vices will change?

Air­lines have flex­i­bil­ity in meet­ing the new se­cu­rity re­quire­ments. Cathay Pa­cific said it will sus­pend self-drop baggage ser­vice.

Does this only cover in­ter­na­tional?

So far. But TSA has also stepped up se­cu­rity rules for do­mes­tic flights.

Over the sum­mer, TSA be­gan re­quir­ing do­mes­tic pas­sen­gers in stan­dard screen­ing lanes to re­move all elec­tron­ics big­ger than mo­bile phones from their bags and place them in sep­a­rate bins for X-ray screen­ing.

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