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Enhanced airport screening for U.S.-bound travelers

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Flights to the U.S. are under tougher scrutiny. Photo: Getty

Mérida, Yucatán — Security precautions could make travel from Mexico to the U.S. a little more cumbersome.

And it’s not just Mexico. Stepped-up security measures from the U.S. Homeland Security Department affect travelers coming in to the States from 280 international airports.

Mexico’s aviation authority advised passengers on flights bound for the U.S. to arrive at the airport three hours early to comply with the new screening measures.

The airports have been warned to look more closely at electronic devices packed in luggage, or face the possibility of having them totally banned from planes. The deadline for some of those changes to take effect was Wednesday.

Homeland Security is concerned about electronic devices larger than cellphones, which passengers be asked to present and prove that they can be powered on.

So authorities are warning passengers to expect longer security lines at airports.

Toronto-based Porter Airlines, which operates numerous flights a day between the U.S. and Canada, informed frequent travelers of the new security measures in an email Wednesday.

“As of July 19, if you’re traveling to the U.S., the U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires you to take your personal electronic devices larger than a smartphone, such as your laptop and/or tablet, out of their protective cases and to turn it on, if asked,” they advised, adding that devices that failed to comply would not be allows onboard.

More than 2,000 international flights land in the United States daily.

The new security measures grow out of ongoing concerns about explosives that could be hidden in a laptop to fool airport security.

Source: Associated Press, The Verge

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