Following the December 25 incident on Northwest airlines, TSA has tightened security measures for travelers, which means that travelers should arrive at airports earlier for increased security checks. In addition, some countries have instituted carry-on baggage policy changes. Although not all airlines have posted updated carry-on baggage policies, examples of new security regulations can be found on both United Airlines’ and American Airlines’ websites:
Specifically, it seems that flights to the United States from Amsterdam, Brussels, London, and Canada have changed policies that would make it difficult for photographers or passengers carrying sensitive or fragile equipment to travel. Furthermore, on some flights, passengers cannot get up or have anything in their laps during the last hour of the flight. If you have a small bladder, be sure to bring a cup or other suitable vessel with you for emergencies!
The United and American security sites seem to agree on the following security changes:
For travel from all foreign locations to the United States:
- new security measures (more screening)
For travel from Amsterdam, Netherlands, from Brussels, Belgium, or from London, England to the United States starting Dec 30 or 31, 2009
- one carry-on bag only
For travel from Canada to the United States starting Dec 28, 2009
- no carry-on baggage that customers might have access to during flight, with some exceptions, including small purses, cameras, coats, laptops, medical supplies, musical instruments, and more
We’d love to hear from you if you have seen any changes in airline security policies that would affect traveling for SCUBA diving or for underwater photography.