Passengers bound for the U.S. need to arrive at boarding gates about half an hour before departure under enhanced security measures starting Thursday.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on Tuesday said it carried out a test run for the new measures on Oct. 19 at the request of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.
It said passengers will have "no problems" despite tougher security screenings if they arrive at the airport about three hours before departure. Airline security officers interviewed passengers waiting in line at check-in counters, but it did not take much longer than usual.
But anyone picked out by TSA or airlines as a "person of interest" will have to undergo an additional interview for about five minutes in front of the boarding gates.
"Passengers can avoid hassle if they arrive at boarding gates about an hour before departure," an airline officer said.
The tougher security screenings will be applied first to foreign airlines and low-cost carriers flying to the American territories of Guam and Saipan from Thursday.
Both Korean Air and Asiana Airlines have asked TSA for a waiver, but only Asiana was given one until April 24 next year. Korean Air is still waiting for an answer but is hopeful that its waiver will also be granted.