New Air Travel Guidelines Put Into Effective After December 25th Bombing Attempt, Certain Electronic Devices Now Partially
Date: Tuesday, December 29th, 2009, 05:42
In the wake of December 25th’s bombing attempt on a plane flying from Amsterdam to Detroit, the New York Times is reporting that the US Department of Homeland Security has directed the Transportation Security Administration to enact a series of heightened security measures.
Per the report, international travelers bound for the United States are now being told “they could not leave their seats for the last hour of a flight, during which time they also could not use a pillow or blanket, or have anything on their laps,” including a laptop.
The new directive, as mentioned on boardingarea.com, also requires a thorough pat-down of all passengers on international flights to the United States and a physical inspection of all their carry-on luggage prior to boarding.
All international flights are now being required to enforce new rules during the final hour of the flight which includes insisting that all passengers remain in their seats and prohibiting passengers from accessing any carry-on baggage or from having any blankets, pillows or other personal belongings on their lap during the final hour of the flight.
The new “final hour of flight” rules appear to have surfaced from the fact that the would-be terrorist attempted to ignite a chemical explosive he had smuggled onto the plane. During the final hour of flight, the flight crew is most likely to be preoccupied with making preparations for landing, and least likely to be available to observe attempts to ignite such an explosive, particularly if obscured under a blanket or pillow.
Canadian officials have responded to the new directive by essentially banning all carry-on luggage for passengers headed to the United States, the Times reported.
Additionally, airlines’ international flights are now required to “disable aircraft-integrated passenger communications systems and services (phone, internet access services, live television programming, global positioning systems) prior to boarding and during all phases of flight.”
The directive also insists that, while over U.S. airspace, the “flight crew may not make any announcement to passengers concerning flight path or position over cities or landmarks.”
Stay tuned for additional information as it becomes available and please let us know what’s on your mind per these new directives.