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Travelers coming into America are now seeing beefed-up security

Reuters/Joe Penney
Could be even more of a hassle.
  • Hanna Kozlowska
By Hanna Kozlowska

Investigative reporter

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Airlines are starting to implement additional security measures for international flights to the US, potentially meaning even more hassle for travelers.

The security measures apply to roughly 280 airports in 105 countries and do not affect domestic flights, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told Quartz. The airlines covered by the new regulations announced last month by DHS secretary John Kelly were given time to implement them.

Starting today (July 19), travelers coming in from Mexico, Canada, and Colombia should expect to see the effects. Airlines—a total of 180 will eventually be affected in total—are advising US-bound passengers to arrive earlier to the airport.

The measures include enhanced overall security checks and heightened screening for passengers’ electronic devices. More dog teams will be deployed, and explosive-trace detection will be expanded. An average of 2,100 flights daily and 325,000 passengers will be affected.

When Kelly announced the latest DHS plan, he said the terrorist threat has not diminished, and that aviation remains a “crown jewel target.” 

The new checks are said to be a solution to avoid expanding the laptop ban the US imposed on nine airlines flying out of 10 airports in the Middle East and Africa. That’s been phased out, except for Saudi Arabian Airlines flights coming in from Riyadh (which could soon be lifted as well). The ban prevented travelers from bringing laptops, tablets and other electronic devices on board US-bound flights, and was met with harsh criticism from the travel industry.

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