If you are out of the US and on your way home or if you are planning on leaving the country, be sure to allow extra time at the airport on your way back.
Remember the short-lived laptop ban? Well it’s replacement went into effect on October 26th. The trade off for allowing you to work or watch movies on your laptop, during your flight, is new security measures that could include, secondary screenings, interviews at boarding gates or check in areas. Those in turn could cause longer wait times and delays. Aside from having to get to the airport earlier, other services could be affected. Cathay Pacific, for example, said it would suspend its downtown check-in and self-bag drop services in Hong Kong. It’s estimated that the rules will impact 235,000 passengers on 2,000 flights daily to the U.S. on 180 airlines from 280 airports across 105 countries.
On domestic flights, standard TSA lines must now remove all electronics larger than phones and place them in isolated bins for x-ray machines. All the more reason to get your Global Entry and go through the TSA PreCheck line.
So, if this isn’t enough good news, here is more from our friends in DC.
As of January 22, 2018, Real ID takes effect. Almost half the states’ driver’s licenses will not be considered Real ID. If your state is not in compliance, you will need a passport to board a domestic flight.
California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina have been granted an extension through October 18, 2018. New York, Michigan, Illinois and Louisiana, as well as Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are “under review,” which means they’ve requested an extension, but one has not yet been granted. Poor Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. They’ve had it rough enough and now they won’t even be able to leave, if they don’t have passports.
In California you can apply for a Real ID starting January 2, 2018. However, it’s a complicated process, you might just as well get a passport if you don’t already have one. Check your expiration dates now. If your passport is expiring in 6 months, renew it now. Don’t wait. There will be lots more people applying for passports and it could take a long time to get yours renewed.
For more information on Real ID and an interactive map of states that are compliant, Click here
And just in case, if it didn’t occur to you, starting January 22nd there will be more delays at security because of all the people who aren’t aware of the new regulations.
Plan to be at the airport extra early for your flights.
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