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December 27, 2009

US curbs on international air passengers’ movements

     Washington: In the wake of Christmas Day’s failed flight bombing bid by a Nigerian man, the US Department of Homeland Security has introduced new screening to limit the movements of international passengers. The US Government has said that it wanted the security experience to be “unpredictable” and different restrictions would be put in place at different airports, a prospect that may upset airlines and travellers alike, The New York Times reports. According to detailed information released by several airlines, passengers coming to the United States will be required to remain in their seats for the last hour of a flight without any personal items on their laps. Already, overseas passengers are restricted to only one carry-on item, while domestic passengers are facing longer security lines. Travellers at airports around the world are experiencing heightened screening in security lines. On one flight, from Newark Liberty International Airport to Little Rock , Ark. , flight attendants kept cabin lights on for the entire trip instead of dimming them for takeoff and landing. The restrictions can worsen the recession-hit airline industry’s woes. Travel has declined about 20 percent since 2008 because of the economy, and airlines have been dealing with numerous delays in the past week because of snowstorms on the East Coast and in the Midwest . Airline industry executives said the new steps would complicate travel as vacationers return home from holiday trips and could also cause travellers to cancel plans for flights in 2010.
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