New security screenings begin for all US-bound airline passengers

31 October, 2017, 00:10 | Author: Elaine Woods
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New security measures including stricter passenger screening take effect on Thursday on all US-bound flights to comply with government requirements created to avoid an in-cabin ban on laptops, airlines said.

The measures will be rolled out for 180 airlines operating out of 280 airports in 105 countries. And they could be subject to security interviews by airline employees, according to a USA government official.

Passengers flying Cathay Pacific to the USA can expect to be "interviewed" for security reasons. It said the extra screening will take the form of a questionnaire handed over to "100 per cent" of passengers.

The new procedures do not apply to those who are part of TSA's Pre-Check program, which offers expedited screening for travelers who have undergone background checks.

An Air China official said: "We will meet the demands from the USA side, but as for the detailed measures, it is inconvenient for us to release".

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The US government announced that travellers on all inbound worldwide flights could be questioned by airline staff before being allowed to board aircraft.

Enhanced security screenings began for USA -bound flights on October 26. 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. Still, at least one carrier, Royal Jordanian, says it got an exemption for more time to comply with the new rules.

The International Air Transport Association, a trade group that represents airlines globally, said that the new measures raise the bar on security and have piled a significant amount of work in the aviation industry, according to USA Today.

EgyptAir said in a statement the new measures include more detailed searches of passengers and their luggage and interviews. In July, the Transportation Security Administration announced rules that require electronics larger than a cellphone be placed in separate screening bins. Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways said it will suspend self-drop baggage service.

The TSA said in July it was imposing new security rules requiring U.S. domestic airline travelers to remove all electronic items larger than mobile phones such as tablets, e-readers and video game consoles from carry-on baggage for screening.

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