DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — All incoming flights to the United States will be subject to new security screening procedures before takeoff, including both American citizens and foreigners possibly facing security interviews from airline employees, the U.S. government said Wednesday.
Both American air carriers and global airlines must comply, affecting all the 2,100 flights from around the world entering the U.S. on any given day. The directive is far broader than an earlier Trump administration ban on laptops inside the cabins of some airliners, which only targeted 10 Mideast cities and their airlines.
Confusion greeted the new rules. While five global long-haul carriers said they would begin the new security interviews on Thursday, each offered different descriptions of how the procedure would take place, ranging from a form travelers would be required to fill out to being verbally quizzed by an airline employee. Other carriers insisted their operations remained the same.
"The security measures affect all individuals, international passengers and U.S. citizens, traveling to the United States from a last point of departure international location," said Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. "These new measures will impact all flights from airports that serve as last points of departure locations to the United States."