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Delays at the airport for U.S. bound travellers due to new security measures

ByCaroline Bernet

Nov 8, 2017

On October 26, the Trump Administration enforced new security screenings for travellers worldwide, who are headed to the United States. These screenings will consist of interviews regarding the passengers’ luggage. The checks will impact the near two thousand US bound flights every day. Some airlines will also be checking the electronics of passengers.

A passenger at Hong Kong International Airport that was interviewed by TIME Magazine said, “they asked me if I packed my own bag, where I packed it from, where I came from.

“They looked at my itinerary, verified where I was, who I was, from where I came from.”

Earlier this year, the Trump Administration was discussing the possible ban of laptops in carry-on luggage when traveling to the United States. The ‘laptop ban’ was then enforced in several Middle Eastern and North African countries, and gave negative impact to Middle Eastern airlines.

The United States Department of Homeland Security then lifted this ban and started using scanners to check electronics for explosives. These new screenings are to add more security and are also to streamline the airport security process.

However, airlines have already begun to warn customers about early arrival time to ensure enough time to go through security.

Delta Airlines have told customers to start arriving three hours before their flight’s departure to ensure that they will have enough time for all security measures.

Cathay Pacific Airways has also told passengers to arrive three hours early, in addition to temporarily eliminating in-person check-in and bag-drop services so that customers headed directly to the United States, have enough time for these new screenings.

Airlines had 120 days to start enforcing the regulations. A spokesperson from Norwegian Air Shuttle has stated that they “…always follow the rules and regulations set out by the US authorities.”

However, other airlines have been less accepting of the new regulations.

A press official from Xiamen Airlines said that they are “… not going to interview all passengers but focus on those with a certain degree of risk when checking the passengers’ documents.”

The airlines have some freedom in their decision on how to carry out the security measures, as Air France plans on handing out questionnaires, yet for the most part they all advise arriving earlier than usual to make the flight on time.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokeswoman, Lisa Farbstein presented a statement about the new screenings, saying that, “As threats continue to evolve, we and our partners around the world will continue to work together to improve intelligence sharing and standardise best practices, while also pursuing technological advancements that will make flying more secure for everyone.”

Global security threats are the justification for this new policy. When speaking to The Student, Eleanor Patrick, an American student studying International Relations, relayed her initial reactions to the policy as, “…potentially leading to racial profiling because it seems like such a subjective procedure.

“If President Trump is concerned about terrorist attacks, he should focus on the gun violence and mass killings that are being committed by his own citizens.

“We have thousands of gun-related deaths every year and yet he is still more worried about people coming into our country and hurting us.”


Image: Sigmama via flickr

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