Following Christmas Incident, Travelers Face Increased Security

Business travelers, meeting planners and conference attendees returning to the road this week should expect additional security measures at U.S. and international airports following an attempted terror attack on Dec. 25 aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said this weekend.

Domestically, travelers can expect to see an increased law enforcement presence, additional canine teams, ramped up passenger screening at gates and more reliance on "invisible" security measures such as behavioral detection.

Internationally, meanwhile, travelers flying into the United States can expect increased pat-downs and bag searches at airports—including at gates—and increased vigilance in flight, where passengers may be required to stow personal items and remain seated during additional portions of their flights.

Although there currently are no new prohibitions on items in passengers' carry-on or checked bags, the TSA is advising travelers—particularly those flying into the United States from abroad—to arrive at the airport as much as an hour earlier than normal to allow for additional security and screening.

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), measures are designed to be "unpredictable," so passengers should not expect uniform security measures across all airports.

"The Department of Homeland Security immediately put additional screening measures in place—for all domestic and international flights—to ensure the continued safety of the traveling public," DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement. "The American people should continue their planned holiday travel and, as always, be observant and aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious behavior or activity to law enforcement officials."