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Security tightened for U.S.-bound air passengers
December 27, 2009 / 2:44 AM / 8 years ago

Security tightened for U.S.-bound air passengers

 WASHINGTON, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Airline passengers headed
for the United States faced tighter security measures on
Saturday after an attempt to blow up a U.S. jet bound for
Detroit, including pat-downs and an order to stay seated during
the last hour of flight, airlines and security officials said.
 Air Canada advised U.S.-bound travelers to arrive early at
airports to allow extra time for security screenings, including
additional personal searches.
 "Passengers should also expect flight delays, cancellations
 and missed connections, and limit themselves to a single piece
of carry-on baggage," Canada's largest airline said on its
website.
 "New rules imposed by the U.S. Transportation Security
Administration also limit on-board activities by customers and
crew in U.S. airspace that may adversely impact on-board
service," Air Canada said.
 "Among other things, during the final hour of flight
customers must remain seated, will not be allowed to access
carry-on baggage, or have personal belongings or other items on
their laps."
 Singapore's Sunday Times reported that the city state's
Changi Airport, a major regional transit center, had also
increased security measures for non-stop U.S.-bound flights,
including pat-down searches.
 "One hour before the plane lands in a U.S. airport, all
passengers must be seated, and should not have any baggage near
them or covered with any blanket. The in-flight entertainment
system would also be turned off," the Sunday Times quoted a
Singapore Airlines spokesman as saying.
 U.S. authorities on Saturday charged a Nigerian man with
trying to blow up a Delta Airlines passenger plane with high
explosives and were investigating his claim that he had links
to al Qaeda.
 The suspect, who was being treated for burns at a Michigan
hospital, was overpowered by passengers and crew on the Delta
Air Lines plane from Amsterdam on Christmas Day.
 The TSA website said only that: "Passengers flying from
international locations to U.S. destinations may notice
additional security measures in place. These measures are
designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect
to see the same thing everywhere. Due to the busy holiday
travel season, both domestic and international travelers should
allot extra time for check-in."
  (Writing by Eric Walsh; Editing by Chris Wilson)



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