Heightened security measures on America-bound flights

Added 14/04/2010

Airplane taking off

If you are planning a trip to the States, for business or pleasure, you may encounter extra security measures that have been put in place at UK airports.

The new measures have been implemented in response to the alleged suicide bomber that was apprehended on a US flight in December 2009; he had an explosive device hidden in his underwear.

Soon after the attempt, only travellers visiting America from countries that posed a threat were screened. Now, due to the enhanced measures, passengers of any age, race or nationality could be subject to the screening, and travellers that match intelligence on current potential terrorist threats will be closely monitored.

If subjected to secondary screening, a passenger’s travel record will be scrutinized to establish whether or not it matches current intelligence.

Around 6,000 people have been added to the American government’s ’no fly’ list. Airport security will continue to prevent ’no fly’ passengers from boarding American flights.

Screening techniques include explosives trace detection, advanced imaging technology, sniffer dogs and full body pat downs. But the increased level of security does not necessarily imply that there is a greater threat of terrorist activity.

It is estimated that half of all America-bound travellers will be screened, so if you are planning a trip to the States this summer, it might be worth allowing extra time to check in.