by Daniel McCarthy
Passengers on inbound flights to the U.S. will be subject to new security screening procedures, beginning today, that will see both citizens and non-citizens questioned about their trip and their luggage.
The new rules, which will impact all of the 2,000-plus international flights to the U.S. each day, come as the 120-day window for enforced regulations after the Trump administration’s laptop ban ended.
Though there isn’t a ton of clarity about the change, U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokesperson Lisa Farbstein told the AP that the new rules include “heightened screening of personal electronic devices” and stricter security in airport terminals. Carriers have reported the new rules include new forms that travelers need to complete as well as in-person questioning by airline employees.
In Dubai, the AP reports, Emirates is already starting to question passengers about what is in their luggage and what liquids are in their carry-ons. A larger number of passengers are also having their carry-on bags searched by hand, increasing the wait time at security checkpoints. Other carriers who have announced they will comply with the new rules include Air France, Cathay Pacific Airways, Lufthansa, and EgyptAir.
Delta Air Lines, one of the American carriers who said it is enforcing the new rules, has warned U.S.-bound passengers to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their scheduled flight to deal with the new security measures.
Jonathan Grella, executive vice president for public affairs with the U.S. Travel Association, said in a statement that “security adjustments rooted in legitimate concerns are a fact of life for travelers,” but that “it’s essential that changes be clearly communicated.”
“The world should hear that they are not intended to discourage travel generally, and that legitimate business and leisure travelers are as welcome as ever in the U.S.,” he said.