All incoming flights to the United States will be subject to new security screening procedures before takeoff, with both American citizens and foreigners possibly facing security interviews from airline employees, the US government said Wednesday. Both American air carriers and global airlines must comply, affecting all the 2,100 flights from around the world entering the US on any given day, the AP reports. The directive is far broader than an earlier Trump administration ban on laptops inside the cabins of some airliners, which only targeted 10 Mideast cities and their airlines. Confusion greeted the new rules. While five global long-haul carriers said they'd begin the new security interviews on Thursday, each offered different descriptions of how the procedure would take place, ranging from a written form to a verbal quiz.
"The security measures affect all individuals, international passengers and US citizens, traveling to the United States from a last point of departure international location," said Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration. "These new measures will impact all flights from airports that serve as last points of departure locations to the United States." The new rules come at the end of a 120-day window for new US safety regulations to be implemented following the lifting of the laptop ban imposed on some Mideast airlines. They include "heightened screening of personal electronic devices" and stricter security procedures around planes and in airport terminals, Farbstein said. She didn't elaborate.