Many years ago, I traveled to Israel. Along with the tour of Jerusalem, one of the world's most beautiful cities, and dinner at a seaside fish restaurant in Tel Aviv, I encountered something else that I found interesting: Highly trained security officers interviewed passengers before flights and scrutinized bags in the country that endures so much strife. In that pre-9/11 world, arriving at an airport so far ahead of takeoff felt like part of the exotic adventure.
Now people on U.S.-bound flights could also face a Q&A, though with airline personnel.
In June, the federal government announced that it would abandon its ban on in-cabin electronic devices from certain countries. Instead, it laid out new rules designed to enhance security screening on all flights into the U.S., and those measures could include preboarding interviews. Officials gave airlines 120 days to comply with the measures; the deadline was Oct. 26. The new rules will affect all 2,100 flights entering the country each day, no matter the place of origin.
Each airline is handling the regulations differently, some requiring earlier arrivals at the airport, others not. If you are traveling overseas, check with your airline.
Meanwhile, the Transportation Security Administration is more closely monitoring domestic fliers, too. A new procedure rolling out at airports across the country requires people in standard TSA checkpoints to remove all electronics larger than cellphones from carry-on bags for X-ray screening. TSA will get a clearer view of the electronics when they are outside bags that can be a haphazard array of packed essentials.
Travelers in PreCheck lanes will be able to leave electronics in their bags as they now do with laptops.
The procedure has been tested at 10 airports, including Boston, Fort Lauderdale and Phoenix and will be phased in at other U.S. airports in coming months, as agents are trained.
Contact Travel Editor Kerri Westenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow her on Twitter: @kerriwestenberg.