back to article US demands air passengers ask its permission to fly

Under new rules proposed by the Transport Security Administration (TSA) (pdf), all airline passengers would need advance permission before flying into, through, or over the United States regardless of citizenship or the airline's national origin. Currently, the Advanced Passenger Information System, operated by the Customs and …


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  1. Shadowthrone

    Let them impose these rules.

    Personally I say let America impose these rules. What will eventually mean is that travel will reduce to America and people will be reluctant to enter US airspace and influence. It will also serve to further degrade America's place in the grand scheme of things.

    As a whole the world has a pretty dim view of America and it's foreign policy. This will serve to just make them even more introverted and have an even more limited view of the global landscape.

    The sooner America's influence on the world is removed the better.

    N.B. I should quantify that last statement really. The sooner America gets a sensible administration and stops seeing itself as the world's police force who expects everyone to do things THEIR way the better.

  2. Stephen Gazard

    last minute purchases of flights to the US...

    Ah. So those who need to fly to the US at the drop off the hat would be stuffed. Imagine telling your parents that you can't come because the US won't permit you to fly because you did not know three days in advance that your aunt was going to die. How inconvenient of her...

    It's not a good plan at all.

  3. laird cummings

    Everything is in order!

    "Papers please.

    You are not allowed last-minute travel, you should know that. The government is here to help you, and in order to hep you, we must have at least three days to think about granting you permission to go where you want to go. No, we will decide where you can and cannot go - you are obviously a threat to yourself and everone around you unless we are allowed to peak into your life and grant our dispensation. So give us your papers."


    The TSA needs to muzzled, drugged, dragged out back, and shot, for the good of us all - it's a rabid dog now.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who cares?

    I stopped going to the USA years ago - if you want to treat me like shit and have me stand in queues to have inane questions asked of me by morons then don't be surprised if I don't come back. I dread to think what it must be like entering the USA if you happen to be non-white and non-christian.

    I've always been a believer in treating people like you'd wish to be treated yourself and vice versa. On that basis I won't be dealing with the USA/USA citizens unless it is absolutely unavoidable. Thankfully unless you visit North America it is remarkably easy to never come in contact with a USA citizen.

  5. Ian Chard

    Holidaymakers won't care

    because their kids will be screaming too loudly to take them to Disneyworld, they'd submit their own right arm if it meant getting them on that plane.

  6. Claus P. Nielsen
    Dead Vulture

    US trade embargo against itself

    As I read the article, this would mean that nobody could travel in or out or over the USA without planning this 72 hours ahead of time.

    If that is really true, then the negative impact for a lot of US companies doing business abroad would be huge.

    Who would hire a contrtactor who could not put an expert on a plane within 24hours to help fix a really critical problem?

    I realise that this goes both ways (so US companies would not risk hiring foreign companies for critical stuff either), but if it's the US versus the rest of the world, then the rest of the world is still the largest.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Late flights

    72 hours ahead? So are there arrangements for rapidly approving late bookers? Or will 7-10% of currently filled seats remain empty?

    Surely it'd be easier for the DHS to publish the no-fly list and allow the airlines to check against it... Or would that be a breach of privacy?

  8. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Fortress America

    Crikey, another nail in the coffin of Free Enterprise. Is Uncle Sam mad or has whoever dreams up their Script lost the Plot in Sub-Prime Imperious Imperial Initiatives? What a Shame.

    Ah well.... a windfall for the Nouveau Riche East then...... the new Frontier.

  9. John Latham

    What's the point?

    Maybe I'm suffering from Friday-afternoon brain fade, but I don't see the point of the no-fly list.

    Cockpits should now be sufficiently secure to make box-cutter hijacking impossible, and baggage screening should make it impossible to get weapons or explosives on board.

    So, in the best case, the no-fly list just prevents "terrorists" from travelling by air, enables them to inconvenience us by diverting international flights after takeoff, and lets them know that they are being watched, so they can be more careful.



  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Another reason not to visit.

    Title says it all...

  11. John A Blackley
    Thumb Up

    Too funny!

    So, if I'm flying from Glasgow to Noo Yawk then Continental Airlines has to tell the TSA - three days in advance - who I am and where I live?

    Not that I'm squawking about the United States' government's right to do this - no, if they want to know who I am three days before I pitch up at Newark's "Liberty International" airport terminal (I kid you not) then who am I to argue? After all, leaving me sucking beer with John Smeaton at the Hilton bar is a lot less messy than having to deal with me at "Liberty International".

    I am a little piqued, though, at the possible (probable) acquiescence of other governments. It's a bit cheeky of the GoodolUSofA to get so chippy about who's allowed to soil their pristine shores when their own yakking masses are allowed to traipse - willy nilly - over all of Europe with hardly a "can I see your passport, Sir?"

    So, by all means, let Los Americanos push their screening out several days and several thousand miles - so long as we have a bit of decent tit-for-tat from other governments. That way, we'd reduce the terrorist threat, practically eliminate transatlantic flight (thereby preserving resources and reducing carbon footprints or fingerprints or whatever prints they are), and perhaps restore the transatlantic cruise trade - all in one fell swoop. Let's do it!

  12. Anonymous Coward

    There goes the impromptu weekend away then...

    The TSA are the biggest bunch of shirkers... Just so THEY can sit back and not have to do any work, they require us, the public, to finalise travel plans at least 72 hours before?

    There goes the impromptu flight to Vegas for a quicky shag-weekend (and some gambling) then.

    The business community will LOVE this considering that all too often you will find business people flying around the country last-minute.

    Bravo TSA, BRAVO. You officially are the biggest bunch of W**KERS on the planet*.

    * And another reason to leave the US and never return.

  13. Guy
    Dead Vulture

    72 Hours???

    So let me get this straight, the details have to be with the TSA 72 Hours before take off, or no boarding pass. For those that may be unwilling to do the math, thats 4 days.

    So this would mean the end to spur of the moment travel, say you live in the continental USA, and fancy a weekend in Vegas, you were bored or something, nope, no longer possible. Only pre-planned and pre-booked hedonism available now.

    What about if you have a relative in another state fall ill, or worse die, the funeral is in 2 days... Sorry you can't fly you terrorist scum.

    Mind it'll at least bring back one american tradition, that of the long road trip.

  14. Mike

    US closing itself to tourism for good?

    I suspect I'm not going to be the only commenter to point this out, but here goes anyway...

    Currently, the value of the US dollar makes the country an extremely attractive holiday destination - there's plenty to see and do, the main language is English and the general populace are a likeable bunch.

    However, the government and it's various agencies seem Hell-bent on doing all they can to completely kill-off the industry. Have they completely forgotten that it was *internal* flights that were hijacked on 9/11?

    Myself, family and friends are all reasonably well-off people who normally would jump at the chance of taking the kiddies for two weeks of theme park-based entertainment; but no longer.

    Bye bye USA. It was nice knowing you until you became a complete arse.

  15. Richard Silver badge

    Say goodbye to business travel

    As a service engineer, I almost never fly with more than two days notice.

    Therefore, under these proposed rules, I won't fly. Ever.

    And it's not just me - the vast majority of business travel is on short notice.

  16. Darrell

    Great Idea

    .. As no self respecting terrorist would use a false identity when traveling would they?

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Dakness Looms Over the Land as a Fascist State is Born

    Give it a couple years and you may hear the following:

    Ill-humored TSA Guard: "Your papers please."

    Me: "Passport... Travel Papers... note from Mom... Here ya go..."

    ITG: "Hmmm... interesting... mother was from a former communist state it says here... not good... And oh, what's this? You're not a Christian? Tsk... Tsk... Tsk..."

    Me: "And this has what to do with my trip Los Angeles?"

    ITG: "Your Papers are not in order... Cleetus! Take him to our 'conference' room, the commandant will want to 'interview' him."

    Seem almost reminiscent of an old WWII movie; just have to loose the German accent and substitute a Texan one and that's what we'll have.

    (Posted Anonymously for fear of the GW Bush Secret Police insisting me and my family stay for a vacation in the Caribbean)

  18. D Morehouse


    ..apparently this even goes for flights within Canada that travel over US airspace, flights from Toronto to Vancouver for example. The Canadian gov't should flip the US the finger on this one and tell them to go pound sand!

  19. Kwac

    They've won.

    The last time I visited and saw the levels of 'security' at the airports it was clear that the nation was already in a state of terror.

    This is just further proof that terrorists (real and imagined) have won.

    Fortunately, as I've now retired, I won't have to go there again.

  20. Roy Stilling
    Thumb Down

    What about critical illness/bereavement

    My wife's American. Back in 2001 (before 9/11) she got called home because her father was near death. Despite a tube strike making her miss the flight we'd booked the night before, she did managed to get to see him before he passed on. She wouldn't have made it if these regulations were in place then.

  21. Brendan Weir


    Is it just me or did his comment actually make some sense? I think I need a drink!

    Where's the silly icon representing booze?

  22. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


    "For those that may be unwilling to do the math, thats 4 days"

    Can I be the first to point out...72 hours....4 days....hmmmm

    let me get my calculator out and work out how screwed up your maths is :P

  23. Anonymous Coward

    @ Guy

    72 hours is actually 3 days. 4 Days would be 96 hours.

    I think that the TSA really hasn't thought this through. Here's hoping that American business & citizens lobby enough to get this insanely short-sighted proposal dropped.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    @ Guy

    Erm, as one who didn't bother to do the math I still think I remember 72 hours being THREE days, not four. :o)

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Thing is -

    Do the TSA actually know there is a world outside the USA, do they care, the vast majority of Americans never travel outside their own County, let alone abroad.

    More importantly, the bit you've all not commented on is that it's flights entering US airspace, so that will affect flights to Canada, Mexico, the Windies, the last of which can ill afford their economies disrupted by the US.

    Mind you perhaps they can strike back through the WTO for a few more billion dollars.

  26. Campbell


    Moly, They've gone completely crackers, just barely over 200 years inbreeding and the crazy gene is rampant.

    Time for a restoration of Imperial rule and wide dispersal of good ol' European pure bred sperm.

    That's should sort out the madness, at least for a while.

  27. robin maddison

    They did too!

    Osama never needs to do another thing, only threaten to!

  28. Misha Gale

    transit passengers?

    I tend not to be bothered by all the crazy US security measures, since I have no particular need or desire to go there. But there are lots of nearby countries I might like to vist (Canada, Mexico, most of S. America) for which you usually have to fly via a US airport or through US airspace.

    So how are all these countries going to react when the US places a major dent in their tourist industry?

  29. Joe Stalin
    Paris Hilton

    Let them in

    Since you know the names of every terrorrist on the planet, that's the guys on the watch list, don't ban them, let them in. And then you can arrest them and ship 'em off to 'gitmo. Don't these people know anything, all that time and effort chasing terrorists around the globe when you can sit back at home and let then come to you.

    Even Paris could see the logic in that.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    The Beeb?

    Anyone else noticed that this story is not available on the BBC site yet? (At least as near as I can tell anyway).

  31. Rob

    Calm down, for goodness' sake

    Christ! I take it none of you buggers bothered to read the pdf before diving in to slag off all things American?

    OK, first off: You can still book a last minute flight and fly. Got that? The airlines only have to provide whatever info they already have at the 72 hour mark.

    It's there in B&W. The documents says "Additionally, for reservations made within 72 hours of scheduled flight departure time, covered aircraft operators would be required to transmit Secure Flight Passenger Data as soon as possible."

    In other words, TSA is saying "It would be difficult to check all the records at the last minute, but if we get most of them in advance, we can do the remaining ones at short notice, no problem.

    Second, while the airlines have to provide all the info listed IF AVAILABLE, you only have to give them your full name. Again, from TFD:

    "As currently proposed, it is optional for individuals to provide their date of birth and gender in order to provide individuals with the greatest ability to exercise control over the data elements provided. For the vast majority of individuals, a decision to forgo providing these data elements should have no effect and will result in aircraft operators, reservations agents, and TSA holding less information. For what is expected to be a relatively small number of individuals, however, a decision not to provide date of birth and gender will result in an inability to automatically distinguish them from someone on the watch list."

    In other words, you can limit the info you provide and roll the dice.

    Now, before I get monstered, I'm no fan of the state collecting all kinds of personal data on us and have serious concerns about the privacy implications of the proposed rule. But the sort of knee jerk, toys out of the pram comments I see here do sweet FA to address these very serious concerns.

    I'm off to smoke a fag now.

  32. Ferry Boat
    Dead Vulture

    The Sex in Your Soul Will Damn You to Hell

    I did hear a good quote about the US government recently:

    invented by geniuses to be run by idiots

    The US constitution is one of the best constitutions around. Pity it's under attach from idiots like GW Brush. Such a shame people won't be going to the US. It's a nice place with interesting people. Some of them would be improved by mixing with foreigners but most of them are pretty sound.

    Anyway, I think that the existing 15 mins before/after take off rules still apply and they catch the travellers who late booked.

    Don't Spain have something similar?

    Here is a picture of a drunk bird with red wine sick.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EU should remove similar pre-emptive blocks

    I saw an episode of Airline, a black man with Swiss residence card and passport speaking French was not allowed to board the return flight to Switzerland because the photo on his Swiss ID card didn't look like him in the opinion of 2 out of 3 immigration officers.

    Here's the problem I have with that:

    He had a UK visa, granted in Switzerland, which means he has residence in Switzerland because they only grant visas in countries where the person has residence.

    His Swiss card looks the same as my swiss card did when I lived there, it was a real swiss residence card. I speak French, his French was correct for French speaking Switzerland. Presumably the details on his card matched his passport, because the French speaking immigration officer said so, and it was only the photo that was in dispute. His passport photo was not in dispute. My photo doesn't look like me either.

    The people who can check the card properly are swiss immigration, not an airline desk. It's the swiss authorities that can contact the swiss canton and get his details and either kick him out or let him in. But he would never have been able to get home to have his details checked!

    The problem is these prechecks, they seek to preemptively block peoples right to travel based on the opinion of an airline staff member. Since the person doing the checks is there to block people just in case, he blocks genuine travellers right to travel.

    However we have freedom of movement in the EU, so that necessarily means that right is blocked for some people.

    The same thing blocked my wife's right to fly to Hamburg from Paris (blocked because she would transit through London and the airline wouldn't let her fly without a UK visa she didn't really need).

    THERE SHOULD BE NO PREEMPTIVE CHECKS WITHIN THE EU, the checks for entry (if any) should be done inside the member countries territory.

    The legal basis for barring these preemptive checks is the right to exit an EU country. Suppose my wife wanted to travel to the UK. At the ferry port there is a UK immigration officer who will prevent her entering the ferry because she only has a French residence permit, and they would insist she has a UK visa as well. What he's doing is barring her from leaving France on that Ferry. It would be different if the check was done at the other end in the UK, he would be barring her from entering the UK. However at the other end UK law applies and she could challenge the UK entry officer's decision in UK law.

    She would win of course, because what Britain does is not legal for spouses of EU citizens.

  34. Alan Gregson
    Black Helicopters

    That's settled then...

    I'm never traveling to the US again, which means I'll have to sell my Montana bunker

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Team America, F*@k yeah!

    Why don't we just hand over the keys to the Americans now and go home?

    Because I have full confidence in the security of their databases....

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Positively not going this year

    We like skiing in the US - much more friendly and polite than the European (esp French) yobs. We've been going regularly for years.

    We're not going this year though because we've had enough of being treated like criminals.

    I'm sure they don't care and won't notice.

  37. Nicholas Ettel


    "So let me get this straight, the details have to be with the TSA 72 Hours before take off, or no boarding pass. For those that may be unwilling to do the math, thats 4 days."

    Or can't do arithmetic in your case. 24 hours = 1 day; 48 hours = 2 days; 72 hours = 3, count them, THREE days.

    I know, I know... boo for math. :(

  38. Matt

    Don't worry, just fly to Mexico.

    Since we can't build a fence between the two countries without violating the Environmental Protection Act, just fly to Mexico and walk over.

    Probably no more time consuming or inconvienent then TSA.

    Yeah, the gobstoppered bureaucracy is quite astonishing when it comes to that failed abortion known as TSA.

  39. JP


    Things must be getting really tough in the US. I saw an ad for NEW YORK CITY on telly last night. If The Big Apple has to advertise for tourist bucks, the restrictions must be hitting them hard enough as it is. This won't make it any easier or make people more comfortable travelling to the US.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Land of the free???

    Why don't the friggin yanks just re-implement visas?

    Even better, why don't they just ally themselves with Kim Jong il and refuse entry to everyone? The world will be a better place without the yanks, "we helped you in the war" flames, and of course Paris Hilton.

    Just get Taiwan to nationalise the AMD and Intel factories, and everyone else will use pirated copies of Windows and Photoshop just as they do today.

  41. Ogberi

    So, being American makes me evil?

    I love it.

    We're governed by a bunch of rectum-kissing loosers who will do *anything* to stay in power. They're keeping the population wound up about "terrorist" attacks. Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!

    And then, the flames pour in. As an American, I do love this country, it's constitution, and the [ever more limited] freedoms we have.

    I hate our government. It's a bloated evil monster that needs the fat trimmed with a chainsaw. I didn't vote for the imbecile we have in charge. I don't support even half of the crap that is passed off as a "good" bill, with bad stuff (logging in northern Oregon) hidden in the fine print. American citizens have become too enamored with what the capitalism-driven economy has stuffed down their throats. By far and large, they're completely ignorant of what is happening politically.

    Can you hate a child because it's parents are idiots?

    Criticize the "Special Education" reject that sits in the Oval Office. Not the average US citizen. We're people just like everybody else, and unfortunately, squirming uncomfortably as the Thumb Of Oppression hovers ever closer.

  42. Graham Dawson

    Good presidents.

    "N.B. I should quantify that last statement really. The sooner America gets a sensible administration and stops seeing itself as the world's police force who expects everyone to do things THEIR way the better."

    Lets hope they don't elect the other Clinton then.

    People might say "she can't be worse than Bush", but she definitely can. People said nobody could be worse than Blair. Now who's laughing? Nobody, that's who.

    We could try the current Belgian model. They haven't had a functional government for nearly half a year now, yet the country hasn't fallen apart. If we could somehow engineer the same situation in our own countries and stop the buggers from making new laws all the time we might actually be able to get on with our lives...

  43. Nick H

    You people crack me up...

    I wish we WOULD pull all our troops and economic support in. Oh the whining would start then. Think you got a muslim problem now? Wait til we aren't around to keep them at bay. Oh and don't forget good ol russia - they are on a nice little comeback right now too.

    I'm sick and tired of everyone in the world complaining. If we do nothing, we get bitched at for not being world leaders. If we step in, we either didn't do enough fast enough or we did it too harshly. It's a joke.

    The last time we left you to yourselves, you invented hitler. Great idea.

    So it's fine by me - you guys stay out of the US - and hopefully we can return ALL of our troops home. None of you deserve our help. The only reason you HAVE the freedom to spout this nonsense is because of the US. So knock yourselves out. Hopefully next time we'll just wave and let you sink.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Go East!!

    Companies will find it difficult to do business in U.S. due to travel difficulties. Technology companies now have more justification of oursourcing jobs to Asia.

  45. Carol Dew

    Re: You people crack me up... (Nick H)

    Lissen up, genius (and I use the term extremely lightly),

    Try getting your news from someplace other than Faux News before you post such unbelievable, bigoted, insular nonsense on a public board.

    Your bigoted comment on "keeping them at bay" is beneath contempt.

    And regarding the troops, just who the hell do you think they're helping? I'll tell you who - Dick Cheney and his retirement fund, that's who.

    Freedom - you don't know the meaning of the word.

  46. Britt Johnston
    IT Angle

    problem still worth fixing

    The guy or gal who puts the fun back into flying deserves next year's peace prize.

  47. RRRoamer

    I try not to fly at home anymore either

    One, I agree with Nick to a large extent. Pull all of our boys home and let the EU take care of paying to secure there own damn borders. Of course, this really would require us to pay attention to energy independence.

    But I do have to admit that I can see NO way that the TSA can get their current security rules to pass Constitutional scrutiny. That whole virtual (for most anyway!) strip search just seems to get in the way of "Unreasonable search" and the "innocent until proven GUILTY" parts in the Bill of Rights.

    Of course, I have no doubt that the US Supreme Court could easily figure out a way to justify it.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Nick H

    "I wish we WOULD pull all our troops and economic support in. Oh the whining would start then. Think you got a muslim problem now?"

    Let me throw this out as food for thought...perhaps the reason there is a Muslim "problem" (as you call it) is because....oh would be a waste of time to even begin to explain it clearly enough for any chest thumping Bush-ite to comprehend.

    Move along..nothing to see here. Good day Sir.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    Take your toys and go home


    You know what? Do it! Take your toys and go home. Pull your military in, become an insular xenophobic self-facing terrorized dictatorship, please. .

    Without American interference and arms dealing, South America might unite into a power bloc that might finally, FINALLY allow those countries to install the government they want. The African Union would have a chance to clean up their continent, and bring true reform to the shattered nations that are leaving millions in abject poverty.

    The EU would be able to continue along it's crippled, but evolving eurocracy, and perhaps even set a new standard for governance and quality of life in the world.

    The Asian nations all seem to be trucking along quite happily no matter what anyone anywhere says, and that will never, ever change.

    Russia will become a superpower again, who cares? Good for them! They have the resources, and the people...eventually they'll either become a relatively open society, and deal with their own internal crime problems, or fracture, and not be a worry to the rest of the world.

    The middle east will tear itself apart, and the Indian subcontinent will probably help. Nothing you, or I, or anyone anywhere could ever say or do will stop that. The only thing middle eastern nations hate more than each other is anyone trying to stop them from destroying each other.

    In short, the world doesn't need the US. The once great nation that spearheaded a wonderful concept known as democracy, but got torn apart by unchecked capitalism is, outside of it's ability and desire to bully the irrelevant.

    We don't need your soldiers, there are millions of them worldwide working for organizations like the EU, AU and the UN that are eager to help, and we don't need your money, because your country doesn't have any anymore.

    So, for the love of all that is right in the world, please, impeach your president and sue his government, or just do the world a favor, and hurry up and shatter into a collection of bickering nation states, so we can get on with the business of providing the former US with economic aid, and bring them into the light of democracy.

  50. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    A few comments...

    @ Rob:

    It would be lovely to think that providing anything less than full information WON'T automatically put someone on the watchlist (if not the No-Fly list) on the basis of "if you've got nothing to hide..." by the TSA (Total Schmucks in Authority), but I'm afraid that I can't see that being an option after the first year if this isn't stopped.

    @ Guy:

    "So let me get this straight, the details have to be with the TSA 72 Hours before take off, or no boarding pass. For those that may be unwilling to do the math, thats 4 days."

    ...You have 18-hour days over there...? Or am I allowed one free " stupid Brits...!" for all of the " stupid Americans...!" crap that gets posted here?

    Look... We've got an administration that is doing phenomenally stupid things that we will be trying to clean up for years to come, if that's even possible. Britain currently has an administration that is doing phenomenally stupid things that you will be trying to clean up for years to come, if that's even possible. If you're going to walk around loudly declaring that all Americans are idiots for electing a bunch of control-hungry idiots, what do the recent steps towards an "All-Surveillance-All-The-Time" environment (see: London security cams and national ID card articles) that England is taking say about the British government (and hence, its electorate?)

    I'm reading these articles and comments and seeing British posters saying "It's the stupid Government," when something stupid and questionable happens on that side of the pond, but "It's the stupid Americans," when it happens over here.

    Sorry, but I don't see how you can have it both ways.

    If *all* of the American people, even those who have repeatedly voted against them, are expected to take full responsibility for what our elected officials do, then shouldn't *all* of the British electorate be held to the same standard?

    I suppose this will only serve to launch a swarm of badly spelled and punctuates "sToopidYanks" blather, but I had to say it.

    Oh, and @ NickH:

    Shutthefuckup and let the adults talk. (Sorry, the rest of you; we're really NOT all like him!)


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