New Security Screening Starts for all U.S.-Bound Flights

New Security Screening Starts for all U.S.-Bound Flights

Last Thursday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in coordination with TSA and air carriers, implemented the latest phase of enhanced security screening measures at all last-point-of-departure airports at 105 countries around world.
All passengers on flights bound for the United States are now subject to expanded security screening procedures prior to departure. The expanded TSA security screening will be implemented in phases. Also, the procedure changes being implemented vary by airline, but may include personal security interviews conducted by airline employees, questionnaires and heightened screening of personal electronic devices.

Change to Global Aviation Security Requirements

In light of evaluated intelligence, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly has determined it is necessary to implement enhanced security measures for all commercial flights to the United States.  These measures, both seen and unseen, include enhanced screening of passengers and electronic devices as well as heightened security standards for aircraft and airports.

Read Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, remarks here.

New Security Screening Overview

  • Countries: 105
  • Airports: 280 (approximate number as it will vary based on seasonal airports)
  • Total airlines: 180
  • Average daily flights: 2,100
  • Passengers: 325,000 average daily passengers

Enhanced Security Measures and Timeline

The enhanced security measures include but are not limited to:

  • Enhancing overall passenger screening;
  • Conducting heightened screening of personal electronic devices;
  • Increasing security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas; and
  • Deploying advanced technology, expanding canine screening, and establishing additional preclearance locations.

Over the course of the next several weeks and months, DHS/TSA will work with aviation stakeholders to ensure these enhanced security measures are fully implemented.  Those stakeholders who fail to adopt these requirements with certain timeframes run the risk of additional security restrictions being imposed.

International Flights Bound for the United States.

These enhanced security measures will help to secure all commercial flights departing from 280 airports that serve as last points of departure to the United States.

What does this mean for travelers?

The enhanced security measures are both seen and unseen, and passengers flying to the United States may experience additional screening of their person, property, and electronic devices.  This enhanced screening may result in extended wait times, and travelers are encouraged to arrive early for flights. There are no changes to items allowed in carry-on and checked baggage.

How We Can Help

GoGo Travel is monitoring the situation closely with an eye toward assisting our clients avoid travel disruption. ASTA, the American Society of Travel Agents, is urging the Administration to expeditiously set clear rules of the road, and to communicate those changes to the traveling public in conjunction with the airlines, such that disruption is kept to a minimum.
A good rule of thumb is to check with the relevant carrier on policy changes and, when in doubt Contact a Travel Consultant, and arrive at the airport early!

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