U.S. bound passengers face new security measures

January 4, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
You can expect more delays if you travel to or from certain countries. Airline passengers are facing increased security checks if they're flying into the U.S. from 14 countries known to sponsor terrorism. This follows the Christmas Day bombing attempt on a U.S. flight from overseas.

These new security rules replace the emergency measures that were imposed at Christmas time. They took effect at about 9 pm Pacific time on Sunday. At SFO passengers described their experiences.

"They checked everyone, every single passenger going on board. They did a physical check of every passenger," said international traveler Leena Menon.

Passengers flew into SFO Monday morning from India with a stop in Hong Kong. They said every passenger was frisked two times in security checks that were more rigorous than in the past.

"They did a full body search, went through metal detectors and security seemed to be a tad bit more then I'm used to," said international traveler Deepak Kakar.

"They went through our carry-on luggage and stripped us again," said international traveler Rikhil Patel.

The TSA announced that passengers holding passports from a list of 14 countries, many with terrorist ties, and passengers taking flights that originate or pass through those 14 countries would be subjected to stringent security checks on a permanent basis worldwide on any flights bound for the United States. The security measures were imposed after the foiled Christmas Day bombing attempt aboard a jet from Amsterdam to Detroit, but now the intense scrutiny will be focused on these 14 countries indefinitely.

At SFO, there will be no changes to any departure procedures and little impact expected on inbound passengers.

"Coming inbound, there is no direct service to any of those countries, so they have to come in through another airport in the United States. So there will be no direct impact to any of our travelers," said SFO spokesperson Mike McCarron.