How Expanded U.S. Air Security Affects You | AMA Travel

New U.S. Air Security Rules: How It Affects You

July 21, 2017

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented tighter security measures for international flights to the United States, which could mean longer wait times in security checks, plus the screening of passenger electronic devices.

As of July 19, 2017, these rules affect airlines from 280 airports in 105 countries (including Canada). However, the new security measure won’t be applied to domestic U.S. flights.

According to the DHS, the new security measures will be rolled out in the coming weeks and months, and will include enhanced overall passenger screening, heightened screening of personal electronic devices, increased security around aircraft and passenger areas, and expanded canine screening, and new preclearance locations.


What You Need to Know

Will you notice much of a change while going through security? Probably not. Though due to the additional time needed, Air Canada and WestJet strongly recommend passengers arrive:

  • At the airport a minimum of two hours before scheduled departure
  • At the departure gate at least 45 minutes before scheduled departure

Air Canada and WestJet also recommend that all personal electronic devices larger than a smartphone (e-reader, tablet, laptop) must be easily accessible and have all cases/covers removed while heading into security check. That’s because security officers may perform a physical inspection of your device and check that it can be turned on.


Have Questions about Your Flight?

Our Alberta-based travel experts are here to help. Reach out to your AMA travel agent, call 1-844-771-1522, or visit your nearest AMA centre.


More Traveller Resources

AMA, as part of CAA, is working hard to advocate towards greater safeguards for Canadians who fly. Learn more about the proposed air passenger bill of rights.

Want to know how to protect sensitive information on your devices when crossing the border? Watch this CBC video on what border agents can search on your phone (and more).

For travel information for specific destinations, visit Government of Canada Travel Advice and Advisories.

David Little
About the Author
David Little
David Little is the digital copywriter for AMA Travel. One of his favourite reasons for travel? Meeting new people and exchanging funny, scary, and bizarre stories from the road.