New TSA regulation requires questioning for U.S.-bound passengers starting in October
Those flying from South Korea to the United States will soon face questions about their intentions and activities prior to departure. The Yonhap News Agency reports that the security interviews for Korean flyers will begin on October 26, 2017, on a mandate from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Under the new security edict, flyers heading from South Korea to American grounds will face an interview at the ticket counter before receiving a boarding pass. Individuals will be asked if they are carrying luggage on behalf of someone else and if they booked a one-way ticket instead of a round trip. Those who raise flags in the system could face additional screening. The TSA is justifying the move as another method to combat terrorism.
The interviews would add an additional layer of security for outbound flights after enhanced personal electronics screening began in June 2017. Not every airline is a fan of the new security plan: full service carriers Asiana Airlines and Korean Air have asked the TSA to delay the security interview procedure until 2018, when Korean Air moves into the completed Terminal 2 at Incheon International Airport (ICN). The security agency has given airlines until October 19 to file a formal delay request.
While low-cost carriers currently fly from the Korean peninsula to the U.S. possessions of Guam and Saipan, more airlines are expected to enter the market in the future. In January 2017, AirAsiaX announced they received clearance to begin flights to America, with their first inbound flight landing in Honolulu, Hawaii six months later.