New US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines call for airline employees to quiz both US citizens and international travellers on US bound flights with security questions the Associated Press has reported.
The questions may be asked verbally or delivered as a written form by check-in agents, according to airlines that began informing passengers of the new procedures scheduled to commence on October 26. The pre-flight interviews are part of stepped-up security measures that TSA required in exchange for lifting a ban on laptop computers in the passenger cabin.
The laptop ban had been imposed only on Mideast airlines, but the interviews will be required of all airlines flying to the US, affecting passengers on approximately 2,100 daily flights.
Airlines warned travellers to allow extra time so that the interviews can be completed. Delta Air Lines, for example, advised passengers to arrive at the airport three hours in advance of flights.
TSA also has started requiring that travellers remove all electronic devices larger than cellphones from their carry-on luggage at security checkpoints. Previously, it was only required that laptop computers be removed and placed in bins for security screening.
“The simple step of separating personal electronic items for screening allows TSA officers to more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats,” said TSA Federal Security Director Jerry Henderson.