Passengers traveling to the U.S. will have to arrive at airports four to five hours before departure as they face tougher security screenings starting from later this month.
Security checks for U.S.-bound flight will be bolstered at airports around the world. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) notified airports and airlines around the world in June of a new set of tougher measures, aviation industry sources said on Monday.
Under the TSA's new measures, passengers will have to face a two- to three-minute interview at airline counters regarding the purpose of the visit and where they intend to stay, and undergo baggage checks at boarding gates. Certain passengers will encounter body checks.
Passengers who use American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and other U.S. fliers as well as Korean low-cost carriers flying to Guam and Saipan are subject to the measures from Oct. 26.
Flagship carriers Korean Air and Asiana Airlines have asked the TSA to defer the implementation until mid-January, when the new terminal at Incheon International Airport opens, but are still waiting for its decision.
Carriers failing to abide by the TSA's regulations could have their flight licenses to the U.S. revoked. Airlines fear the measures could cause flight delays, while transfer passengers may end up missing connecting flights.
One airline industry source said, "It looks like fliers heading to the U.S. will have to arrive at airports four to five hours ahead of their departure times rather than two to three hours."
U.S.-bound flights account for around 30 percent of all flights departing from Incheon International Airport.