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Posted by
3337 posts

Well that was clear as mud. So they're doing something. But we don't know exactly what or when. And we dont know if any of these new measures involve new restrictions to carry on. Or how it will impact the already long security lines at airports. Very helpful. Not.
So glad I'm not planning on flying into the states in the forseeable future.

Posted by
1405 posts

I think the most important take away is that there is no outright electronics ban in carry on bags. At least for now.

Posted by
4535 posts

And we dont know if any of these new measures involve new restrictions
to carry on.

Actually, what is clear is that there are no new restrictions on carry-on luggage or the so called "laptop" ban. In fact, airlines and airports that implement these changes can get themselves off the electronics ban.

They are also not releasing much detail about the new security procedures as this would tip off would-be terrorists on how to try and circumvent them. Many things happen without you even knowing about it, like extra specific questions, improved or enhanced scanners, improved training for staff, and ID background checks.

Posted by
3337 posts

Thanks for that link James. It was more informative than the original article that was linked.

•Enhancing overall passenger screening;
•Conducting heightened
screening of personal electronic devices

While still quite vague, these 2 provisions seem to be the ones most likely to directly impact passengers during TSA screening. It will be interesting to see how intrusive these new "enhancements" become, if at all. I don't need to know what all they do behind the scenes to make themselves feel secure. I only want to know what new procedures are going to directly affect my experience while trying to get on my freaking flight.

But at least for now it seems they have listened to their international counterparts and aren't extending the cabin electronics ban. A huge relief to many.

Posted by
2042 posts

And this will make us safer since none of the terror attacks in the US occurred by people who were already here, right?

DHS is like the magician "keep one hand moving so you won't notice what the other is doing" (AKA as "harassment pretending to be security")

Posted by
317 posts

Combine this with the new rule that they may ask you to take any books and magazines you have in your carry on out for additional inspection (even when flying domestically), and it doesn't look good. The grounds have already been laid to detain people for ideological "crimes." So that will be fun.

I'll be wiping my phone and sanitizing my publicly-visible accounts before I head back to the States this summer.

Posted by
961 posts

Hmmmm... sounds like it will be like going through security at AMS ... but for everyone.

Posted by
7205 posts

Just went through the AMS security - what a nightmare.

Posted by
4535 posts

Astorienne - I really don't understand what your post is about and why you think US citizens would be subjected to so-called "ideological" crimes. This forum really isn't the place for conspiracy theories. Just stick with facts.

Posted by
317 posts

It's relevant information for any traveler to know. There are already citizens who have been subjected to additional interrogation upon reentering. It turns out you don't have the legal protections you would have if you were interacting with the police, for instance. You don't have the protections of the First and Fourth Amendments at the border. You can't tell the border police they can't look at your Facebook or text messages. They don't need a warrant. And who wants to sit in an office waiting to see what happens while a border agent rifles through your phone contacts, social media feeds, and emails? Do you 100% trust them? We already know TSA steals from bags.

This isn't political, these are actual facts.

Posted by
13713 posts

I am less concerned about the competence of the security folks than I am about the idiocy of the passengers who wait until they are at the front of the line, then begin pulling things out of their pockets and taking shoes off and ..... If people would just take 15 seconds to prep before they got in line, the line wouldn't take any time at all. The only other potential hold up might be reactionaries protesting the latest immigration policy or the current elected government in the airport and messing up the system even more. I think that is what Astorienne must have implied.

Amsterdam was once a breeze to get through, lately its been a mess. Delta seems to be doing a much better job at managing the issue than some of the other carriers.

Posted by
13713 posts

Astorienne obviously replied before I got my post in. Astorienne, I think your concern was 4th amendment rights. First amendment just allows you to complain.

Posted by
961 posts

God forbid the rest of the airports around the world start behaving like AMS by sending almost everything to secondary screening. I hope they have a better plan than that. Security was a nightmare back in mid January during the holiday lull. I can't imagine what the summer months are like. If it weren't so inconvenient to carry, I would just take everything in a black garbage bag and pack afterward. Since their new searching methods are on the down low, no one will know how much extra time this is going to take until people start experiencing it. Seconds? Minutes? Will people need to arrive at the airport even earlier than two hours? I'd hate to be in the test group over these summer months. Still, I am glad that electronics are not going to have to be checked in luggage.

Posted by
317 posts

1st for expressing opinions, 4th for searching your possessions. They perform a search of your private communications and see speech they don't like. They see you're carrying a book by a political writer and decide to hold you for a while. So both, but yeah.

Posted by
2916 posts

Just went through the AMS security - what a nightmare.

I was about to say that I went through AMS twice recently and didn't think it was so bad. Then I realized that I only went through passport control, since they were both connections and we never left the secure area.

Posted by
13713 posts

Getting on a US flight in Amsterdam has been a bit more involved. Everyone on Delta is sent to Gate 1 where they are interviewed and papers are checked. Then you go to your real gate where a certain number are randomly pulled out and their carry on is checked. Then sometimes on the gangway a few more are pulled out and checked. At the other end in Atlanta last trip there were dogs in the gangway when we exited the plane. It was what it was. Everyone was polite and everyone tried to make it as easy as possible. I leave Saturday and I've put all my clothes in the bottom of the carryon and the camera and electronics on top so they can search it easier.

I've been stopped and taken to interrogation three times in the last 10 years. Once in Houston, once at JFK and once in Tel Aviv. The interrogations at US airports ended when I got Global Entry. I have had my luggage searched once in Amsterdam and about every 6th trip I find the TSA leaflet in my checked luggage when I arrive at my end destination. 99% of the time the process has been professionally run and 1% of the time I have dealt with A-holes. Life in general isn't that good; so I have absolutely no complaints at all.

Posted by
13211 posts

I believe Tim's comment about the nightmare at AMS refers specifically to enhanced security screening for boarding a flight back to the US, as of today. Past experiences are not relevant because the rules are changing rapidly. The Supreme Court's ruling partially upholding the so-called "travel ban" begins implementation tonight. Still yet to come are new requirements for security screening for US-bound flights. Maybe AMS has started stricter screening proactively.

When I said that past experiences at AMS are not relevant to what happens today, I was actually referring to comments that it is easy and not different from other airports. My one experience flying home from AMS was on September 4, 2001. At the boarding gate there were three Dutch security agents standing behind desks. Every passenger had a personal interview with one of these---no sunglasses, hat off, and look him in the eye. The line for this was long and it added a good 45 minutes to the boarding process. I had the impression that this may be fairly standard there when the alert level is high. People who have boarded their US-bound flight at AMS .in more relaxed times apparently avoided this. But it may become the new normal.

Posted by
4535 posts

The grounds have already been laid to detain people for ideological "crimes."

This is NOT a fact and would never be allowed for US citizens, period. It is true that the 4th amendment is more limited for those going through airport security and for those coming and going from the country. It is also true that NON-citizens could be denied entry if found to have anti-American views (non-citizens can be denied entry for just about any reason).

If you derail the thread, it will get deleted.

Posted by
317 posts

Then don't derail it, Douglas. Facts are facts. The discussion is about how we will cope with "enhanced" security, which includes examining the books we carry and our phones and laptops. The only question is who is considered to be a "threat" to the government.

Posted by
11435 posts

The big concern from Homeland Security is electronics. They are concerned that battery compartments will be used to hold explosives.

What will probably happen is that while we now only have to take out laptops in most airports, the change will probably mean all electronics larger than a cellphone will have to be screened separately. So tablets, mini-tablets and e-readers will now have to come out of carry on luggage and be placed in a bin.

According to the NY Times, in 2016, 23,000 devices were searched. That's from the 380 million entries into the U.S. It adds up to .0012%. That's one search for every 16,500 entries.

Posted by
4535 posts

According to the NY Times, in 2016, 23,000 devices were searched.
That's from the 380 million entries into the U.S. It adds up to
.0012%. That's one search for every 16,500 entries.

Thanks Frank. It's always helpful to have facts and not scaremongering.

Posted by
2845 posts

". . . Facts are facts. The discussion is about how we will cope with "enhanced" security, which includes examining the books we carry and our phones and laptops. The only question is who is considered to be a "threat" to the government."

You need to be clearer on what you are talking about. The enhanced security measures in the news concern examination of laptops and other e-devices for possible bomb material, not content. This will take place at airports outside the US for flights departing to the US. No one in these airports cares about the books you read or the messages on your laptop. They are looking for hidden bomb material.

Posted by
4637 posts

These terrorist attacks are done by certain people. It would be more cost and time efficient to search for those people instead of bugging seniors who as we know don't have bombs in their laptops (in the case they have laptops).

Posted by
13713 posts

Sasha, "Reason.com" "Free Minds and Free Markets" ? Aren't those subversive ultra right of center dog whistle phrases? Is that really a reliable source?

Posted by
13713 posts

Ilja, would make my life easier. Not too sure how my kids would feel about it, as from an age and appearance point of view they fit the profile.

Posted by
2845 posts

That was one of a number of sites that popped up saying the same thing---the book removal idea has been dropped. Didn't notice that it was ultra right wing---but hey, if they are saying it, it must be true.

Posted by
12972 posts

I am one of those seniors without a laptop. If I had one, it certainly would not be going with me on a trip to Europe. I'll see if the usual perfunctory security measures on a return trip are "enhanced."...just another feature to put up with.

Posted by
317 posts

The book removal idea is intact. My teenaged son's backpack was flagged and a TSA agent pulled all the books out and flipped through them at LGA this weekend. She didn't seem to look at the titles but the simple addition of a bar code scanner at TSA checkpoints would not be a stretch.

Don't scoff. People scoffed in 1933 in Germany. Strange things are happening today in America.

Posted by
12972 posts

I almost always carry a thin paperback book or two (history) in the luggage. Let them look through it..."they" might even learn something. TSA leaves a note indicating your luggage/spinner had been checked...very perfunctory.

Posted by
3335 posts

The book removal idea is intact. My teenaged son's backpack was
flagged and a TSA agent pulled all the books out and flipped through
them at LGA this weekend. She didn't seem to look at the titles but
the simple addition of a bar code scanner at TSA checkpoints would not
be a stretch.

Curious, which terminal at LGA? Terminals C & D were my go-to's as I fly Delta mostly but now take the extra 15-20 minutes to head out to JFK to avoid LGA's traffic nightmare. I never experienced what your son did at LGA even before I got TSA Precheck which is why I'm curious in which terminal this happened.

Posted by
317 posts

It was Terminal B, gate C security point. Last Friday evening.

Again, I have no issue with them pulling the books out to x-ray separately--I agree they are dense. He had 6 or 7 books in his bag. My worry is that this establishes a precedent that could lead to abuse in future. But apparently by the end of the weekend, they have reversed the "test" and won't be doing this again. When I flew from IND-LGA yesterday, I had only one thick book in my carry-on, and my bag was not given additional screening. (One of my checked bags did get opened by TSA, but I had some weird random things there I was taking home from my mom's house and I expected they would look more closely.)

I don't have Precheck yet. Going next Sunday for a Global Entry interview at JFK and then I'll have it.

I prefer LGA because I live near there in Queens and it's ten minutes, max, by cab. Cannot beat that, even if the airport itself is a wreck.

Posted by
3335 posts

I've never traveled out of Terminal B. UGH. Terminals C & D with Precheck are great. If you can get to/from the LGA terminals in 10 minutes with that horrific and utterly stupid construction mess, more power to you! I take the E (@Lex) to the Q70 at 74th/Broadway and I now avoid LGA flights leaving at 9am or later because of the traffic we endure on the Q70. The bus takes the BQE⟶GCP. No more local roads.

Posted by
317 posts

Last night I landed at Terminal C and was amazed--it was like a real airport! Unlike B, which is a garbage pit. I usually fly Southwest when I'm traveling domestically, so B it will be until the whole new airport is unveiled in ten or twenty years...

Because of where we live, when baggage makes it feasible, we use the M60 SBS. We can walk home from Astoria Blvd. And nothing beats a free ride to the airport! But car service is fastest (and still cheap.)

I need to investigate whether the MTA will be a mess this weekend for my trip out to JFK... and what I need to bring for Global Entry documentation. I have enough time to add the number to my reservation for my Austria trip at the end of the month! Just in time.

Posted by
3335 posts

Last night I landed at Terminal C and was amazed--it was like a real
airport! Unlike B, which is a garbage pit. I usually fly Southwest
when I'm traveling domestically, so B it will be until the whole new
airport is unveiled in ten or twenty years...

Or 30 yrs, 40 yrs, 50 yrs....

Because of where we live, when baggage makes it feasible, we use the
M60 SBS. We can walk home from Astoria Blvd. And nothing beats a free
ride to the airport! But car service is fastest (and still cheap.)

Such convenience. That sounds great.

I need to investigate whether the MTA will be a mess this weekend for
my trip out to JFK... and what I need to bring for Global Entry
documentation. I have enough time to add the number to my reservation
for my Austria trip at the end of the month! Just in time.

Commuting to/from JFK could be a challenge unfortunately. If you were thinking of taking the E to the Airtrain at Jamaica, it won't work as the E won't be running on weekends to/from JFK for the next 5 weekends.

What you'll need to bring

Good luck! The interview should be easy and quite pleasant.

Posted by
317 posts

The MTA site is offering me routes involving the LIRR... sheesh.

Thanks for the help, Continental! Happy travels!

Posted by
13713 posts

I went through security at JFK twice over the last 7 days and immigration and customs once. It was a breeze both departing and arriving. No delays, no book searches, no shoes off, no laptop restrictions, no bag searches, no delays. (Global Entry / PreCheck).