Enhanced Security Measures for Travel to the USA

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) along with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have announced that in the coming weeks and months travellers to the US will experience increased security measures.

The new protocols will include additional screening of passengers and electronic devices as well as the introduction of heightened security standards for airlines and airports.


Which countries will be included in the enhanced security measures?

More than 100 countries and 280 airports that operate direct services into the United States.


Which airlines will be affected?

Any airline that flies into the United States will be required to comply.


What are the new measures travellers can expect?

  • Enhancing overall passenger screening;
  • Conducting heightened screening of personal electronic devices;
  • Increasing security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas; and
  • Deploying advanced technology, expanding canine screening, and establishing additional pre-clearance locations.


Does this mean that other countries will be subject to an electronics ban?

No. The recent ban on the carriage of personal electronics in the cabin on aircraft travelling to the United States has changed.

A number of airlines were recently restricted on the carriage of personal electronics however all flights operated by Etihad (EY), Emirates (EK), Qatar (QR) and Turkish Airlines to the US are now exempt.

Only the following airline services to the USA are currently affected by the personal electronics ban:

  • Amman, Jordan (AMM)
  • Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (JED)
  • Cairo, Egypt (CAI)
  • Kuwait City, Kuwait (KWI)
  • Casablanca, Morocco (CAS)
  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (RUH)


How will these measures affect people travelling to the USA now?

At this time, we strongly recommend that any customers travelling to the United States adhere to the following:

  • They should arrive at the airport at least three hours prior to their flight. This will ensure they have enough time to check in and clear all security checks prior to boarding.
  • They should be aware of any restrictions regarding the carriage of electronic items (as outlined in the electronics FAQ).
  • Customers who intend to carry personal electronics on board the aircraft should ensure that they are able to power up their devices if required at the security check.
  • Some items may be required to be removed from their protective cases or outer packaging.


What additional security can we expect in the future?

Some of the enhancements will be obvious and many will be ‘unseen’ security measures. We will advise as they are introduced but in the meantime it is vital that customers allow plenty of time to clear all immigration and security checks and that they are able to power up their electronic devices if requested.


What are my options if I don’t want my electronics screened or I can’t power them up?

Some airlines recommend that you pack your personal electronics (powered off) in your check-in luggage.

This may be an option but be aware that these items may not be covered by travel insurance when packed in check-in luggage. Please check with your insurance provider.


Where can I get more information?

You can refer to the Department of Homeland Security website (https://www.dhs.gov/) and refer to the enhanced aviation security. We also suggest that you refer to your airline directly about their specific policies and conditions of carriage.

If you have any concerns about your itinerary please feel free to contact your dedicated Travel Manager.

Disclaimer: This FAQ is valid as at the date above. We recommend that you contact your airline(s) for any further clarification on this issue.

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