New screenings begin for passengers on US-bound flights

Thursday, October 26, 2017
New screenings begin for passengers on US-bound flights
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New screenings begin for passengers on US-bound flights

RALEIGH DURHAM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- New security screenings for all passengers on U.S.-bound flights began on Thursday, with airlines worldwide questioning flyers about their trip and their luggage in the latest Trump administration decision affecting global travel.

However, confusion still remains about the new regulations, which come at the end of a 120-day period following the United States lifting a ban on laptops in airplane cabins affecting 10 Mideast cities. The new regulations cover all the 2,100 flights from around the world entering the U.S. on any given day.

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

At Raleigh Durham International Airport, some travelers questioned whether this will make a difference. Others said they're on board with the new screenings.

"If it's for our safety, it's OK, no problem," said Zile Silva, who was traveling to Cary from Brazil.

"We need all the security we can get because you never know where things are," said traveler Patricia Spruell. "You never know what's gonna happen next. I think it's a great idea, whether it's coming international or from here. It's a wonderful idea."

Delta Air Lines said it was telling passengers traveling to the U.S. to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flight and allow extra time to get through security. United declined to comment, while American did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In March, U.S. officials introduced the laptop ban in the cabins of some Mideast airlines over concerns Islamic State fighters and other extremists could hide bombs inside of them. The ban was lifted after those airlines began using devices like CT scanners to examine electronics before passengers boarded planes heading to the U.S. Some also increasingly swab passengers' hands to check for explosive residue.

The laptop ban as well as travel bans affecting predominantly Muslim countries have hurt Mideast airlines. Emirates, the region's biggest, said it slashed 20 percent of its flights to the U.S. in the wake of the restrictions.

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