Economy

New screenings begins for passengers on US-bound flights

New screenings begins for passengers on US-bound flights”

TSA says other changes include a heightened screening of electronic devices and stricter security measures around airports. Other carriers insisted their operations remained the same.

Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), told the Guardian: "As we move forward, TSA will continue to work closely with our aviation partners and verify that all security enhancements are accurately implemented".

In a statement, Virgin Atlantic said: "We work closely with USA authorities to ensure the safety and security of our flights, and are aware of the additional measures - however, we do not anticipate any disruption to customers". However, it comes at the end of a 120-day deadline for airlines to meet new US regulations following the ban on laptops in airplane cabins of some Mideast airlines being lifted. She did not elaborate. Airlines could alter some of their services; Cathay Pacific Airways announced it will halt its self-drop baggage service. Those without bags would have a similar interview at their gates.

According to a report by a government official, passengers will encounter detailed security inspection of gadgets and interviews by airport security personnel and employees.

Air France said it would begin the new security interviews on Thursday at Paris Orly Airport and a week later, on November 2, at Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Air France said on Wednesday that the extra screening will take the form of a questionnaire handed over to "100 percent" of passengers. Agricultural and veterinary products will also be tightly screened.

"Preclearance is a US customs program, not an Air Canada program", he said. Lufthansa Group includes Germany's largest carrier, Lufthansa, as well as Austrian Airlines, Swiss, Eurowings and several other airlines.

Although the request for these increased measures came from US officials, not every airline has instantly implemented new procedures. The airline says passengers can expect the same check-in experience as before. "As a frequent traveller, I have nothing against the implementation of new directives, particularly if it concerns safety of passengers", said Dubai resident Dr Angelo Santos.

Some airlines will be opening check-in desks early to avoid delays.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Airlines officials are secretly anxious that this new development would delay the boarding process and flight schedules.

"The major challenge in our society is to balance passenger rights and security".

However, not all were convinced of the new measures' effectiveness.

This is just the latest decision by President Donald Trump's administration affecting global travel. The prohibition was birthed from possibility of hiding bombs inside the laptops by terrorists.

Travellers may also be asked to switch off their electronic devices, including phones.

The laptop ban as well as travel bans affecting predominantly Muslim countries have hurt Mideast airlines.

Emirates, the region's biggest, said it slashed 20 per cent of its flights to America in the wake of the restrictions.



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