Travelling can be extremely stressful and confusing for some, especially when it includes a visit to another country. Travelling into the United States by air from Canada is more complicated as the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announces new, and more restrictive guidelines for entering America. The TSA has just made it more difficult, and a lengthier process for travellers heading south. The new increased airport security screening for anyone travelling from Canada into the United States will now be more in-depth and cause both increased time and headaches for passengers.
New regulations came into effect on July 19 on airport screening for travelers from Canada to the United States. Airports will have a more detailed examination of passengers and their carry-on luggage through the main security screening, alongside further inspections of passengers in customs and immigrations can now be expected.
While not going all the way of completely banning laptops altogether, Homeland Security requires all electronic devices larger than a cell phone must be fully charged and ready for complete inspection – if not, they will be confiscated. An attempt by United States Homeland Security to evade terrorist acts on commercial airlines, these bans and further scrutiny has been set up to avoid attacks using personal electronic devices.
In customs and immigration, foreign passengers from Canada will face overall enhanced passenger screening, including the use of advanced technology, canine screening, established additional clearance zones, etc. There will also be increased security protocols from within the aircraft all the way to baggage claim, to ensure passenger safety and security. A more detailed analysis of each passenger, connected to the FBI data list, will be conducted on each non-American passenger flying through Canada.
What does this mean for Canadians and visitors traveling to or within the United States, even if only on layover? More time and increased frustration. Plan accordingly because it will now take airline passengers longer to get through security and customs, even if you have pre-clearance with TSA Pre, NEXUS, or Global Entry. There are no exceptions, only further headache when traveling. These implementations will mean longer wait times, longer lines, more disgruntled travelers, and a harder traveling experience overall.
Will these restrictions actually help? The airlines and TSA think so. Stock is up on almost all major airlines after the last few months’ scandals involving a fee airlines’ (mis)conduct of passengers and overbooking brought their values to lows not seen in years. Smaller seats, less leg room, removal of TVs, less bathrooms, etc. have all been means the airlines have used against us to ‘bring down costs’ of airline travel. Whether these more thorough airport security examinations will result in safer skies has yet to be seen.