Straight from the TSA, and Chris Elliott's blog, we have the directives that the TSA has asked airlines to use "a best faith effort to implement, as soon as possible..." for international flights heading to the USA. Be ready to be incensed:
· Boarding gate crew will perform a pat-down of all passengers and inspect 100% of passenger's carry-ons
· The 3-1-1 liquids rule will be strictly enforced
· Passengers must remain in seats within one hour of plane's arrival, with their hands clearly visible. During this hour, there will be no access to carry-ons and all airline pillows and blankets must be stowed.
· The in-flight entertainment map will be disabled throughout the flight. (NO WAY. This was our favorite channel!) And no airplane position announcements will be made.
A non-TSA directive that has been put into place by airlines like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, WestJet and Canada Air is to limit a passenger's carry-on items to one piece per person. Virgin Atlantic helpfully spells out the details: "this item should not exceed 23 x 36 x 56cm, (approx 9 x 14 x 22 inches) and 13lb/6kg." This means no backpack and purse or rolling suitcase and briefcase. If you do show up with one too many carry-on items however, the extra checked bag fee will be waived, and off it'll go into the cargo hold.
Amongst many rumors flying around over the weekend (one reason we waited to write this) was that electronics were not being allowed on international flights to the USA. This is not trueyou may still bring your iPod, cell phone, laptop and other approved electronics onboard your flight, but you won't be able to access them if they're stowed one hour prior to landing. So FYIkeep you iPod out and ready with a one-hour-long landing playlist.
So what does the TSA ask travelers to do, in response to their rules? Allow "extra time for security," of course. That is all, and maybe brush up on those 3-1-1 rules.
· What Exactly Happened on Northwest Flight 253? [Jaunted]
· TSA Guidance for Passengers on Heightened Security Measures in Place Following Dec. 25 Incident [TSA]
· TSA orders pat-down of all passengers during boarding [Elliott.org]
· British Airways Security Measures [BA]
· WestJet communicates new airport security procedures [WestJet]
· Airport Security [Jaunted]
[Photo: Greg O'Beirne / Wiki Commons]