American Morning

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December 28th, 2009
05:50 AM ET

TSA guidance for passengers following Dec. 25 incident


On Dec. 25, 2009, an individual on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253 set off a device and was subdued by passengers and crew. TSA wishes to acknowledge the heroic efforts of those individuals.

As a result of this incident, TSA has worked with airline and law enforcement authorities, as well as federal, state, local, and international partners to put additional security measures in place to ensure aviation security remains strong. Passengers traveling domestically and internationally to U.S. destinations may notice additional screening measures.

The American people should continue their planned holiday travel. TSA encourages passengers to remain observant and aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious behavior or activity to law enforcement officials.

Q: What additional security measures is TSA taking domestically?
A: TSA has a layered approach to security that allows us to surge resources as needed on a daily basis. We have the ability to quickly implement additional screening measures including explosive detection canine teams, law enforcement officers, gate screening, behavior detection and other measures both seen and unseen. Passengers should not expect to see the same thing at every airport.

Q: What additional security measures are being taken for international flights to U.S. destinations?
A: TSA issued a directive for additional security measures to be implemented for last point of departure international flights to the United States. Passengers flying into the United States from abroad can expect to see additional security measures at international airports such as increased gate screening including pat-downs and bag searches. During flight, passengers will be asked to follow flight crew instructions, such as stowing personal items, turning off electronic equipment and remaining seated during certain portions of the flight.

Q: Do passengers need to do anything differently to prepare for checkpoint security procedures? Has anything changed in terms of what passengers can bring in their carry-on or checked bags?
A: At this time, security checkpoint requirements for passengers departing U.S. airports remain the same. Passengers do not need to do anything differently, but they may notice additional security measures at the airport.

Q: Should passengers plan to arrive at airports earlier than normal?
A: Passengers traveling within the United States should give themselves extra time to check in and proceed through the security checkpoint before their flight, especially during the busy holiday travel season. TSA advises that passengers traveling on international flights to U.S. destinations allow extra time for security and arrive an additional hour earlier.

Q. How long will these measures remain in place?
A: TSA will continuously review these measures to ensure the highest levels of security.

Filed under: Airline safety • Terrorism
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Mark Weiss, P.E.

    This whole problem of airline security is being forced on innocent people because the US government failed to end states that sponsor terrorism. Our spineless leaders, who care more about offending our enemies than protecting our citizen taxpayers, are to blame for the sorry mess that air travel is in. When will our government recognize that we are at war with an ideology and take appropriate steps to wage war with the intent of WINNING?

    January 7, 2010 at 11:59 am |
  2. Ladylalae

    I strongly feel that anyone who makes the Homeland Security list should be DENIED total travel in the USA and forfeit their rights! Get off our ships! Get off our planes! Get off our land! Why wait until they act out? The question is NOT if they will act out but, WHEN and to what extend will our citizens and Country be in jeopardy? Anyone who willingly associates with these psychopaths does it of their own free will and should answer for it! BLACKLIST them. Period. End. No waiting! Anyone who gets on that list should have NO RIGHTS! The time of “wait and see” is over and done with now is time for ACTION! We were lucky this time….

    December 28, 2009 at 8:01 pm |
  3. David

    Yes the SAT should be scrapped. But in your show you overlooked the main reason for this: The SAT does not have acceptable levels of predictive validity (this test does not predict how well a student will do in university and as such is a terrible measure to use as part of a decision process on entry into the university).

    December 28, 2009 at 8:43 am |