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Visitors to the US will now have to register 72 hours in advance


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Visitors to the US will now have to register 72 hours in advance


By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 10:50 PM on 03rd June 2008


Airline passengers flying to the U.S. will have to register with authorities there 72 hours before leaving.

The security measure was condemned by critics who said it would hit last-minute travel and impose more hurdles on hard-pressed travellers.

A spokesman for the 400,000-strong International Airline Passengers Association said: ‘It’s yet another onerous requirement. With rising fares, more delays, lost bags, and tighter security, there’s a limit to how much more air travellers can take.’

Registration will be possible through airline or U.S. government websites or through a travel agent.

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article-1023821-00C78612000004B0-360_468x286.jpg Armed Port Authority Police Department officers keep watch inside the British Airways terminal of JFK Airport, New York


Many European and UK firms expressed concern last year after the U.S. Homeland Security department floated the idea of requiring passengers to register 48 hours in advance, claiming the move would prevent deal-clinching, last-minute flights for business.

From January, the 72-hour measure will apply to those flying under the visa waiver programme.

It is aimed at tightening security against terrorists who see the scheme as a loophole, with the FBI warning this year that Al Qaeda realised holders of European passports have less difficulty entering the U.S.

A spokesman for Homeland Security said the plan would help prevent terrorists entering the US.


He said the government wanted to stop people like 'shoe bomber' Richard Reid, who tried to destroy an airliner with explosives hidden in his trainer, and Zacarias Moussaoui, the Frenchman who was convicted of involvement in the 9/11

attacks and entered the US without a visa.


'History has shown that it is naïve to assume a traveller from a visa waiver country automatically constitutes a lesser threat than a visa applicant who has undergone greater scrutiny prior to travel,' he added.

All 27 visa waiver programme countries are affected, which includes most of western Europe, Australia and Japan.

Officials say although the measure requires 72 hours advance registration, it will be valid for entries over a two-year period.

A security spokesman said that passengers will have to supply the same information they now include on immigration forms they have to fill in before entering the U.S.


The move comes as UK air travellers are hit with a ticket price rise under a new charge scheme announced yesterday.

They will have to pay extra for everything from luggage to meals - in a move to reflect the rising cost of oil.

It is predicted that the average airfare will rise by £30 with airlines gradually implementing a new cost structure.


British Airways has already announced a rise in fuel surcharges. It is now charging as much as £60 extra for a long-haul flight.

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