New security measures for all passengers on U.S.-bound flights took effect today, with airline personnel conducting short interviews with travelers at check-in or the boarding gate.
The directive was announced by the Trump administration in July as an alternative to banning laptops and other electronic devices from the cabin of inbound flights to the U.S. The new rules apply to American and global airlines and affect roughly 2,100 flights from around the world that enter the U.S. on any given day.
“The security measures affect all individuals, international passengers and U.S. citizens, traveling to the United States from a last point of departure international location,” said Lisa Farbstein, a spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). “These new measures will impact all flights from airports that serve as last points of departure locations to the United States.”
Airline carriers have been advising passengers to allow extra time for flight check-in and boarding. Different airlines have described different procedures for complying with the new rules, with some focusing on heightened screening of personal electronic devices and others saying they are conducting brief verbal interviews with travelers either at the boarding gate or at the ticketing counter.
In addition to measures taken by airline personnel, TSA officials are also enhancing screening procedures for carry-on items at airports around the country. The new procedures require travelers to remove all electronics larger than a cell phone from their carry-on luggage and place them in a bin for screening, similar to how laptop computers have been screened for years.
“The simple step of separating personal electronic items for screening allows TSA officers to more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats,” said TSA Federal Security Director Jerry Henderson.