New Airline Security Procedures begin Thursday

New Airline Security Procedures begin Thursday

In a statement, Virgin Atlantic said: "We work closely with United States authorities to ensure the safety and security of our flights, and are aware of the additional measures - however, we do not anticipate any disruption to customers".

The enhanced checks are in line with new guidelines set by the United States in July for incoming flights.

Airlines told Reuters the new process could include steps like interviewing passengers at check-in or just before boarding.

The new rules also come at the end of a 120-day deadline for airlines to meet new USA regulations following the ban on laptops in airplane cabins of some Mideast airlines being lifted.

USA authorities in June also ordered increased security around aircraft and in passenger areas, and other places where travelers can be cleared by US officials before they depart and ordered enhanced screening of personal electronic devices.

"Customers are advised to refer to the respective check-in counter opening hours, and to arrive at the airport early to allow sufficient time for enhanced security measures", the airline said.

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Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd said it would suspend in-town check-in and self bag-drop services for passengers booked on direct flights to the United States. They argue the new TSA security protocols are neither. Cathay Pacific told its customers to arrive three hours in advance.

The Department of Homeland Security is about to roll out new, heightened security measures that will impact the 2,000 flights and 325,000 travelers who arrive in the USA from foreign countries every day.

The restriction came amid fears that a concealed bomb could be installed in electronic devices taken on board aircraft.

Korean Airlines, South Korea's flagship carrier, also said it had a lot of concerns with the new measures.

Norwegian Air, for example, has said its passengers flying to the States would receive instructions via text regarding the new procedures and that it would be opening check-in desks for U.S. flights four hours before departure. "I don't think the costs have been estimated, but they have been significant", he said.

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