9 New Security Measures For Flights and How They Will Affect You

A lot has happened in the last few days to change the way that we all will be travelling in the future. There will be new security measures for flights based on these recent incidents.

Firstly, I am sure you all have heard or read about the 23-year old Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who allegedly attempted to blow up a plane he was on as it neared Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Christmas Day. He had a peroxide-based bomb attached to his body, and when he detonated it, the bomb, thank God, sparked a fire instead of an explosion.

The Nigerian man had told fellow passengers that he felt sick, and pulled a blanket up around his body and neck, and proceeded to ignite the bomb that was stored in his underwear. Pops were heard and smoke was seen. Quick action by the flight crew and passengers subdued Abdulmutallab. All ended up safe at the end of this flight with the exception of Abdulmutallab, who is reported to have suffered third-degree burns.

Then, two days later a man from Florida, 67-year old Thomas Ouellette, reportedly brought a pyrotechnic device onto his flight that landed in NYC’s LaGuardia Airport last Sunday night.

The question is: How will these new security measures for flights affect the rest of us when we travel?

According to a report on CNN today, U.S. Travel and Security Authorities, international airlines and airports, and aviation organizations have all moved quickly to implement a range of new security measures for flights that will impact travellers’ normal routines.

At present, only flights to the U.S. are affected. Passengers can expect to see extra security “at international airports such as increased gate screening including pat-downs and bag searches. During flight, passengers will be asked to follow flight crew instructions, such as stowing personal items, turning off electronic equipment and remaining seated during certain portions of the flight”, stated The Transportation Security Administration.

New security measures for flights include the following for the last hour of flight over U.S. Territory:

  • Passengers will not be allowed to leave their seats for the bathroom
  • No access to luggage, especially in the overhead area
  • Not able to keep blankets or pillows on your lap
  • Bans on using laptops and MP3 players
  • Restriction for the use of cabin phones

Additional New security measures for flights include the following:

  • Arrive at the airport at least three hours before your flight
  • Be prepared for longer wait times to clear security
  • Be prepared for pat-downs from security and individual airline security personnel
  • Be prepared for additional inspection of carry-on baggage and personal items before boarding your flight

The Detroit incident has shown a hole in airport security measures. Could the next step possibly be a ban on all hand luggage, including handbags and purses?

As of today this is what some airlines are telling their passengers about the new security measures for flights:

British Airways is advising all passengers travelling to the States to minimize hand luggage to only one piece. Holiday presents that are wrapped will be opened and inspected.

Cathay Pacific is advising their passengers to expect pat-downs from security and inspection of carry-on baggage and personal items before boarding the plane. Also, the use of cabin phones will be restricted at all times during the flight.

American Airlines advises all passengers to arrive at the airport at least three hours before the flight to allow for added security checks.

Our take on the new security measures for flights? We would rather be safe than sorry…..if it takes extra time to be cleared through Security – so what? If it turns out that you have an extra hour to wait for your flight, get something to eat (it might be better than the food on the plane anyway), make those last good-bye phone calls, start reading your book, take time to talk to your travel partner, go to the bathroom an extra time for good measure.

To sum it up: Arrive early, have your paperwork including passport ready, a tight grip on your patience, be cooperative…..and remember, smile, smile, smile.