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How This Week's Attempted Terrorist Act Affects Our Air Travel

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Things won't change on flights within the US, like on this Southwest plane, but there are changes in place already for International flights. (Photo by Anthony Citrano via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)


Things won't change on flights within the US, like on this Southwest plane, but there are changes in place already for International flights. (Photo by Anthony Citrano via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
Increased security measures were put into place shortly after a Nigerian man flying into Detroit from Amsterdam attempted to set off explosives under the guise of a terrorist act earlier this week, according to the LA Times. While air travel within the US remains unchanged for passengers, those traveling into the US from international airports are already facing new procedures and restrictions.

These new measures include "frisking all passengers headed to the U.S., performing additional searches" and "passengers must remain in their seats during the last hour of flight and cannot have access to their carry-on items or place any personal belongings in their laps."

Passengers flying into the US this weekend affirmed these changes in procedure, noting "that in the last hour before landing, passengers were not allowed to have anything on their laps, use any electronic device or leave their seats, even to use the lavatories." That's right folks--you can't pee, listen to your iPod, or put your book in your lap for the last hour of the flight. Travelers will find the search procedures different from airport to airport to ensure the methods are "unpredictable."

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It's become a legacy of sorts in modern air travel to have a single person's act on a flight set in motion restrictions on everyone's actions--truly the 'one guy ruining it for the rest of us' pattern. This week we can thank Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab for the frisking and hands-free seat-arrest of the last hour, much like we can thank Richard C. Reid for us having to take our shoes off in the security check, and the folks behind the "mixing liquids" plot for "prohibitions against carrying on liquids and gels in containers larger than 3 ounces."