New Security Measures Are Being Implemented For US-Bound Flights Today

Filed Under: Security/TSA

As we first learned in late June, new security measures are being introduced for US-bound international flights. Not surprisingly, the Department of Homeland Security wasn’t especially transparent in sharing what this would entail, though they said that it could include some of the following:

  • 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 preclearance locations.

The silver lining of these changes was that the electronics ban would be lifted for the Middle Eastern countries that were impacted by it, assuming that they could comply with new security measures. Based on what I’ve heard, it seems that these measures include having to test all electronics larger than smartphones.

However, we haven’t really known when this enhanced security would be enacted at other airports, though it looks like we now have more info.

Starting today (July 19, 2017), passengers traveling from Canada and Mexico to the United States will be subjected to enhanced security measures.

They still don’t explicitly state what these measure include, though ask that passengers arrive at the airport even earlier than usual, and that this could include “heightened inspection of personal electronic devices including tablets and laptops.”

I’m not sure if this means that all electronics will be tested (which doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me), or if it will be random.

Furthermore I suspect these enhanced measures aren’t just being expanded to Canada or Mexico, but to other countries as well (possibly even as early as today). I imagine similar screening is expanding to all international airports with US-bound flights, but it’s a matter of setting up the correct protocol so that airports can handle this.

For what it’s worth, I flew from Frankfurt to the US a couple of days ago, and while I didn’t notice any additional general screening, I got an “SSSS” on my boarding pass, which meant I got additional screening. The gate agent noted that she had seen a huge increase in the number of passengers being subjected to secondary screening as of the past couple of weeks.

If you’re on a US-bound flight today, did you notice any additional security checks?

  1. It would be in the case of being a professional photographer – when, depending on the grade of Diplomat, photographic gear has to be checked by security, in the way it’s checked is that you actually take photographs and trigger the camera. Otherwise… you know, if you trigger it and it’s an explosive, at least it’s gone off prior to arrival. I take it, it would be the same at the airport. Tablets and laptops… not sure how they’ll screen them but I did hear the manufacturers who have created the X-Ray machines at airports (not full body ones), there are three of these companies world wide; will be creating more advanced machines to x-ray our belongings.

  2. I just cleared security in Cancun and it was screening as usual. This has been my home airport since January, 2017. Just came on board with my normal 2 laptops, an iPad, iPhone, and a BlackMagic 7″screen recorder. My normal routine, nothing out of the ordinary. No problems. No bans. No Questions. Let’s hope it stays this way. (Plus forgive mobile typos)

  3. Flew out of Frankfurt today and we were warned that security would take longer. They did not make us turn on our electronics but were checking more than i temember last year

  4. Same enhanced measures are being implemented today from Colombia. So it looks like it’s a widespread policy.

  5. Absolutely! Just departed Frankfurt last week and had to pass an additional passport check at the boarding gate with questions about what we had been doing and where we had visited. In addition, I received the dreaded SSSS and was whisked away for another private security check which included swapping of my belongings and a thorough inspection of my shoes (obviously looking for bombs in the soles). I guess the only consolation is since they are doing this at the boarding gate you probably don’t need to worry about plane leaving without you.

  6. I fly between San Francisco and London a lot for business. Last month, for the first time ever, I had “SSSS” on my boarding card. No one at checkin or at security said a word. It wasn’t until I was actually in line to board that I was taken aside by a gate agent to undergo additional screening. I had a connecting flight from SFO to PDX and noticed that my TSA number and TSA PRE were missing from the domestic boarding card. I asked a United agent to reprint my boarding card so that I could use the TSA PRE line at SFO. He was unable to do so. Again, it wasn’t until I was boarding the flight to PDX that I was taken aside for secondary screening. The domestic secondary screening was a lot more thorough than that at LHR – I almost missed my flight.

  7. We flew back from Canada (Calgary) 11 days ago and because of my families decent, we all got “SSSS” additional screening. Atleast we were flying first class for the first time on delta so we didn’t feel that bad 🙂

  8. I flew out of Frankfurt today too on Singapore. Although it was my first time departing Frankfurt I was randomly selected for additional screening….which is pretty normal at any airport whatever. But it seems like they asked about 30-40 individuals total which to me was rather strange; not sure.

  9. Ben still very keen to see a post on what you have in your hand luggage – ideally with a photograph of everything. I am going on a 2 month trip this weekend and attempting to pack as light as possible (not HLO but close)

  10. I flew out of Milan this morning, via Frankfurt and in the air on my way to Dulles right now, upstairs on a LH 747-8. No signs of anything additional in my experience today – if anything, it seemed smoother than usual!

  11. I don’t think this is limited to flights from Canada and Mexico to the United States.

    LH sent out an e-mail on Monday with new check-in deadlines for US bound flights from FRA, MUC and DUS as of today (40min for C and F, 60min for Y and Y+) and advising LX passengers from ZRH to the US to be at the airport _3 hours_ before departure.

    And yes, I also got the SSSS on a flight CPH-LAX three weeks ago – for the first time ever on a flight departing Europe. The additional check at the gate was nothing compared to SSSS checks I’ve experienced in the US. It was done in 30 seconds.

  12. Seriously people!

    The good fast asleep citizens of the world reporting exactly where security has been upgraded or not on here just provides a handy list for those so called terrorist…..that, umm, want to kill you too!!! duh. They are always looking for loopholes.

    How about you all just (here’s a shocker in 2017) KEEP QUIET! …with regard to security measures!. This just absolutely amazes me.

    Not everything needs to be slapped on to a blog with exact airport location SMH!

  13. I just flew TLV-ZRH-JFK last week, my ZRH-JFK boarding pass, issued in TLV, had SSSS. At the gate in ZRH, after going through the US immigration check, they sent me to a partitioned off area nearby, I left my carry-on with my wife who did not get the SSSS and was subjected to a simple pat down and let board.

  14. TAP Portugal just posted a warning on Facebook stating that starting today, no electronics bigger than a cell phone will be allowed in CHECKED bags. Yes. Now it’s the other way around. You can take them on board but you cannot place them in checked bags. They also warn that all electronics in carry on babs may be checked for explosives at the gate.

  15. I was traveling on Norwegian from LGW-MCO and I got SSSS for the first time on my boarding pass. At the gate, they took me to the side and asked if I had any electronics, searched my bag and then did a quick pat down. It was done in 30 seconds, much faster than what I have heard is normal in the US.

  16. testing electronics before security is a load of crap to be honest. You can get stuff after security to do damage to a person or the plane.

  17. My family and I flew out of Amsterdam on Tuesday morning. Security was significantly increased compared to what I had seen flying out of AMS a few months earlier. First, during initial security screening for all passengers, significantly more attention was paid to electronics. Didn’t matter if you were a US bound passenger, or going somewhere else. Anything bigger than a smartphone had to come out of your bag. I had two small bags of charging cables, plugs, etc in my backpack. That led to security asking me to empty my entire backpack for a secondary screening.

    At US pre-clearance on the E concourse, the questioning was significantly greater than I’ve ever seen before. At the gate, during boarding, my wife was selected for an additional screening where they dumped her bag again and did explosives screenings.

    Overall, greatly increased security screening in AMS.

  18. I will be flying tomorrow morning on AM from MTY to LAS, will update you since I got warning it would be implemented. However, in light of this news, I won’t be taking my laptop.

  19. I’m not sure exactly how new this is. Exactly one month ago, on June 19, I got the dreaded SSSS on my boarding pass for the first time. At the security line, they pulled me aside and screened my carry-on bag for residue but otherwise gave me no further screening. However, at the gate, I was pulled aside again, and this time, they asked me to remove all electronic items (even small things like phone, iPod, etc), screened each of them, visually looked inside my bag, and screened my shoes. Spouse did not receive the same SSSS and experienced none of this.

    Although I can appreciate enhanced screening of electronics at the security line, I really hate these extra screenings at the gate, because it interrupts the flow of boarding, and I really hate rushing to re-pack my bag and re-dress myself as I’m trying to just get on the plane.

  20. Nothing new, we’re just recycling old procedures for new threats.
    I’ve been asked to turn-on my laptop on more then one occasion flying around and out of Mexico.
    And that was over 15 years ago.
    Two months ago, on a ANA flight out of Narita to SFO I got SSSS at the gate, just residue test and shoes inspected, 30 seconds.
    I’ll be on the same flight, this time on UAL in two months, curious how it’ll pan out.
    I’ve got Global Entry, I guess that doesn’t count.

  21. Jordan I – You’re exactly the sort of person this security is designed for – gullible.

    If you genuinely believe this information is useful for terrorists then God help you…

  22. Air Canada and WestJet are now recommending arriving 2 hours ahead of the scheduled departure time for US bound flights due to the new electronics screening procedures. Add that to overall record passenger numbers passing through Toronto Pearson this summer and YYZ is a total zoo.

  23. I flew LHR-LAX today. The pilot dud announce that “enhanced security” was contributing to delays. However, I did not experience or notice anything unusual myself.

  24. In the specific case of Guatemala, they are requesting passengers to be 4 hrs before time of departure. No idea how that will work out with an airport with lack of amenities.
    It is the only airport that when passing through security has made me throw to the garbage a pencil eraser. Super ridicolous!

  25. “Just came on board with my normal 2 laptops, an iPad, iPhone, and a BlackMagic 7″screen recorder. My normal routine, nothing out of the ordinary.”


    That is way beyond the “ordinary” and borderline suspect.

  26. Happend to me leaving Calgary on the 19th. I had no idea about this and since Calgary is a nightmare to get through security and customs I arrived at 4 AM for a 7AM flight. Got the quad S on my ticket.
    I had to take all electronics out of my bag and cases they went through one by one and asked me to turn them on. I had an old mini camera and ipod that weren’t charged and i really never use anymore. They told me I could not continue and had to either charge the devices in the ticketing area or check them. They told me they could not confiscate them when I offered. They then escorted me out of the security. I considered rebooking but I just threw the items in the trash and got back in the other line as directed by the security agent. The second time through they never checked to see if the items were charged. A complete cluster if you ask me.

  27. We flew in from Bangkok, stop over in Taipei and arrived today to LAX (China Airlines). We were asked in Bangkok to check in our iPad per US regulations (anything larger than a cellphone needed to be checked in).

    There was also an additional screening for some individuals right before boarding.

    As a final observation, on our Tapei -LAX flight some passengers were using their iPads and laptops.

  28. My Macbook missed a few screws on bottom panel (they vibrated out since last “certified” battery replacement over a year ago). At AMS schiphol prior to my flight to US this was spotted during a thorough TSA check, and after consulting the pilot i was allowed on the flight but had to deboard, store my laptop in an airport locker near the gate, and re-check and re-board. The crew was apologetic and helpful, and i was lucky to return to AMS within the 168h limit on the locker although it costed me 50€+ 🙂

  29. I, too, had the SSSS on my ticket and at the gate, they reinspected my carry-on bags. They confiscated my nail scissors. Those bad boys have been with me on every flight for the past 7 years!! WTF? More than slightly annoyed when they meet international travel security standards.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *