Emirates and the other Middle-Eastern carriers have been caught in the web of the US security drama, as it is called this year. While I am not doubting the severity of the threat which may have lead to banning all laptops and other electronics from cabins in March 2017, the US authorities figured out more enhanced measures could be taken to reduce the inconvenience to people and potential damage to their electronics. In the meanwhile, I had the first-hand experience of loading up a laptop in the belly of the plane. Emirates did a great job as well of securing the passenger devices.
Anyhow, it seems while the first stage of those enhanced security measures was to do with the screening of the devices in newer technology scanners installed by these airports, the next level will go live as of October 2017.
In a note that has been circulated by Emirates to its trade partners, they have mentioned more measures coming next month. Here is a shot of the note that has been sent out.
The new measures which will be introduced from Emirates‘ DXB Terminal 3 as of October 26, 2017 are as follows:
- Electronic Devices will be switched on and checked. There is no mention if this will be right before boarding as a part of the secondary checks that are to be carried out, or earlier than that.
- There will be segregation right from when you arrive at the airport. Dedicated check-in counters will be put in place for US-bound travellers. For Economy Passengers, in this case, it will be at Area 5. First & Business Class passengers will also have a few separate counters to deal with US flights only.
While this is limited information, my guess is that an enhanced level of questioning may be implemented for US passengers only, and hence the segregation is coming in.
If Emirates has put this message out about 40 days ahead, this definitely means that other carriers must also be in the process of putting up more enhanced measures to put people through their flights to the USA.
I do not mind this version of the US implementing new security guidelines at all. They have the full right to keep their borders secure, and this looks like one of the steps to be taken to get ahead of the situation they are in.
What do you think about the new implementation of rules that has been notified by Emirates?
(HT to AneeshP)