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'Enhanced' security screenings begin for travelers flying into the US

DHS’ airport screening measures go into effect today.
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If you breathed a sigh of relief when the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would not be extending its laptop ban to US inbound flights from Europe, we've got some not-great news for you. Starting today, people flying into the US from another country should expect a much longer wait at security due to increased scrutiny.

The so-called "laptop ban" -- which actually extends to anything larger than a smartphone -- was put into place because of worry of terrorists' increased interest in airlines combined with the concern that a bomb could be placed within a laptop or tablet. Last month, the DHS decided it would not extend the laptop ban, but it would increase security measures for flights originating outside the US. Those enhancements are going into effect starting today.

If you're flying into the US, you can expect a greater scrutiny of your electronics. You may be asked to unpack your carry on bags so security officials can examine these devices. You can also expect more swabbing and bomb-sniffing dogs. And it's going to take longer: CNN reports that Mexican airports are advising that travelers arrive three hours prior to scheduled flights in order to ensure passengers have time to get through the screenings. Yeesh.

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