Published: Thu, October 26, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Airlines get ready for new U.S. security rules from Thursday

Airlines get ready for new U.S. security rules from Thursday

An official with the Eastern Airlines publicity department said that she saw media reports about security safety interviews but didn't have immediate details on what her company was doing.

The move comes after the Trump administration rolled out a laptop ban and travel bans that have thrown the travel industry into disarray.

US -bound travelers may face longer check-in and boarding queues as tougher security checks kick in from Thursday.

The new measures could include short security interviews with passengers at check-in or the boarding gate, airlines say.

Germany's Lufthansa said the new rules came from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, which is under Homeland Security.

She said in a statement that the new security measures "may include" enhancing passenger screening, heightened screening of electronics and increasing security measures. Cathay Pacific has suspended its In Town check-in and self-bag drop services for flights to the United States and passengers will be subjected to a "short security interview" at check-in. Those without bags would have a similar interview at their gates.

The extra screening will take the form of a questionnaire handed over to all passengers.

The TSA says new measures include stricter security procedures in terminals and around planes.

A sixth carrier, Royal Jordanian, said it would begin the new procedures in mid-January after USA authorities granted a delay in implementing the measures. It said the procedure would extend to unauthorized agricultural or veterinary products.

"In addition to the controls of electronic devices already introduced, travelers to the United States of America might now also face short interviews at check-in, document check or gate", Lufthansa said in a statement.

It wasn't immediately clear if other Mideast airlines were affected by the new rules.

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

Some airlines said they had received permission to delay implementing the new rules until January.

In March, U.S. officials instituted the ban on laptops in airplane cabins across 10 Middle East cities over concerns Islamic State fighters and other extremists could hide bombs inside of them.

Carry-on electronic devices are the main focus for the changes being made.

They replace a ban on laptops in airline cabin baggage from eight predominantly-Muslim countries which the U.S. government announced in March but later dropped.

Information for this article was contributed by David Koenig, Samuel Petrequin, Brian Rohan, David Rising Karin Laub of The Associated Press and by Anne K. Walters of Tribune News Service.

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