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December 28, 2009

New US, Canada aviation rule creates passenger discomfort

     New York: A new American and Canadian civil aviation law will prevent commercial airline passengers henceforth from rising from their seats during the final hour of their flights. Airline passengers will also be barred from having any personal belongings on their laps - not even a paperback novel - during the hour before landing. All personal belongings will be stowed in carry-on bags and stay off-limits to passengers, reports the New York Post. The new rules by the US Transportation Security Administration imposed after the al Qaeda operative tried to blow up Detroit-bound jet, Northwest Flight 253, which carried 278 passengers and 11 crew. were posted on Air Canada's web site yesterday. Air Canada also said it was limiting carry-on baggage to one item per passenger. The TSA did not confirm the new restrictions. Passengers arriving at New York's John F Kennedy Airport yesterday were livid about the tightened security measures. "There was no entertainment on a seven-hour flight. There were no movies and no radio. They locked the bathrooms an hour before we landed and we weren't allowed to get up. I want to be safe but this guy created havoc. I want some entertainment, at least," said a fuming Maria, 31, a teacher from Liverpool, England, arriving in New York City yesterday for vacation. Passengers also complained about having to have their carry-on luggage searched twice - once electronically before entering the gates and then again by hand minutes before boarding the plane. The extra check, plus an extra pat down before boarding, added 45-minute delays to some flights. Some passengers said the extra security made them feel safer. The new security measures are expected to vary from airport to airport, homeland security officials said.
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