Passengers could face longer queues for check-in or boarding international flights to America thanks to new rules
All incoming flights to the United States will be subject to new security screening procedures before takeoff, including both American citizens and foreign travelers possibly facing security interviews from airline employees.
Both American air carriers and global airlines must comply, affecting all the 2,100 flights from around the world entering the U.S. on any given day. The directive is far broader than an earlier Trump administration ban on laptops inside the cabins of some airliners, which only targeted 10 Mideast cities and their airlines.
Confusion greeted the new rules. While five global long-haul carriers said they would begin the new security interviews on Thursday, each offered different descriptions of how the procedure would take place, ranging from a form travelers would be required to fill out to being verbally quizzed by an airline employee. Other carriers insisted their operations remained the same.
“The security measures affect all individuals, international passengers and US citizens, travelling to the United States from a last point of departure international location,” said Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the US Transportation Security Administration. “These new measures will impact all flights from airports that serve as last points of departure locations to the United States.”
The new rules come at the end of a 120-day window for new US safety regulations to be implemented following the lifting of the laptop ban imposed on some airlines.
They include “heightened screening of personal electronic devices” and stricter security procedures around planes and in airport terminals, Ms Farbstein said. She did not elaborate.
Details of the new rules first became apparent in a statement by Dubai-based Emirates, which operates the world's busiest airport for international travel.