As of this morning, new security measures for international visitors coming from non-US airlines have been put into effect across the US.
The additional checks are being put in place to avoid in-cabin bans on laptops (because in-flight Netflix is crucial) following the US (and shortly after the UK’s) decision to ban electronic devices larger than a mobile phone from 10 Middle Eastern and North African airports.
The new security measures employed will include enhanced surveillance of aircraft on the ground and of departure gates and most notably of all security interviews with passengers. However, the logistics of one-to-one screening of all these passengers means that lone passengers and particularly those booked on shorter notice are more likely to be screened more thoroughly.
You’ve probably noticed yourself when flying to the US that some ‘friendly chit-chat’ generally takes place during pre-clearance but make no mistake this is now part of the screening process. The good news for Irish passengers is that, despite the new measures affecting 325,000 passengers on 2,000 inbound flights daily, we will see less of a noticeable difference than other nations (thanks pre-clearance!). Both Dublin and Shannon airports have confirmed that many of the new measures are already accounted for within the pre-clearance system.
For anyone flying to the US in the near future, our advice is to give yourself an extra bit of time in the airport with any non-online check-ins to be completed 90 minutes prior to scheduled departure.
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This story originally appeared on @TheIndependent.co.uk