The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that effective October 26, all incoming flights to the United States will be subject to new security screening procedures, including the possible interviewing of passengers, regardless of citizenship, by airline employees.
Air France, Cathay Pacific, EgyptAir, Emirates, and Lufthansa will begin these new screening procedures and potential passenger interviews beginning tomorrow. Royal Jordanian Airlines has been granted an extension until January 2018 to implement the same enhanced screening measures.
These new measures are the next phase of the Trump Administration’s “laptop ban” that began in March 2017. Initially, laptops were banned from airplane cabins on flights originating from several Middle Eastern cities due to the potential for terror organizations to hide explosives inside them. The ban was lifted when airlines began using enhanced screening procedures on electronics and the passengers who carried them, ranging from CT scans of the laptops to swab testing of passengers for explosive residues.
TSA estimates that these new procedures will affect around 2,100 flights daily.