If you have been following the news lately, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued an alert for all international flights arriving in the United States. That means, even if you are flying from Canada, you must adhere to the strict screening measures that have been established.
If flying with United or Delta, you are required to arrive at least 3 hours prior to your flight, this will allow for any additional time required for the increased security measures. For flights with Air Canada or WestJet, they are asking their passengers to arrive at least 2 hours prior to your flight departure time.
In addition to trying to get out of the door and battle traffic in order to arrive at the airport 2-3 hours before your flight is scheduled to leave, you now have to make sure that all your electronic devices are charged enough to turn on. At the security gate. With the long line up of people behind you anxiously waiting to see if they are randomly chosen to step into the glass x-ray tube or not. If your laptop or tablet does not turn on, you will be asked to leave the security area until which time you can prove that your electronic device is real, causing an additional amount of required time. So to be safe, plug in your device to charge before you arrive at the security gate.
With all that to remember, it’s also a good idea to ensure your passport is also valid before arriving at the security gate. Many countries require your passport to be valid for 3-6 months after you return to your home country. We actually wrote about the passport requirements in a blog post back in January. You can read it here.
Please don’t let this information stop you from travelling anywhere, including the United States. Most airports are equipped to handle passengers waiting for long periods of time and have established food, drink and entertainment venues behind the lineups of the security gate. So, go buy your double-double or extra hot soy latte with sugar free vanilla, find a comfortable spot to rest, and start reading that book. Or people watch. Or sleep. Do whatever you can to pass the extra time at the airport gate.