Last month I wrote about the planned introduction of new security protocols on all USA-bound flights. The new guidelines were not specific, but included “heightened screening of personal electronic devices”. How does that look in practice? If my flight from Frankfurt on Saturday was any indication, no different at all.
As a reminder, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “enhanced security directive” includes the following:
- Enhancing overall passenger screening
- Conducting heightened screening of personal electronic devices
- Increasing security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas
- Deploying advanced technology, expanding canine screening, and establishing additional preclearance locations.
But, there was no additional screening of my electronic devices leaving Frankfurt on Saturday.
Initial passenger security screening was normal, where electronics devices and liquids are removed from hang baggage. But I was never asked to power on my mobile phone or laptop.
About 90 minutes prior to departure, a boarding call was made for my flight to San Francisco. All passengers were to report to the gate area.
I chose to remain in the lounge until 45 minutes prior to takeoff. Upon reaching the gate, everyone had lined up to board the flight, but there were no additional screening tables or agents checking electronic devices.
As is often the case when I buy a same-day ticket, I got SSSSed and was escorted to a secondary screening area, where I never even had to open by bag. My laptop, hands, and outside of my larger carry-on were swabbed and tested for explosives. That was the extent of my secondary search (same thing happened a couple months ago a well).
Back at the gate, I figured there still might be additional screening on the jet bridge but there was not. In reality, nothing appeared different than before.
At least for now in, at least in Frankfurt, I sensed nothing different about the security screening process. Perhaps there was additional work going on behind the scenes, but none was visible to the flying public.
image: Sven Teschke / Wikimedia Commons