New rules require British Airways and other airlines flying to certain airports outside America to submit passengers’ personal data to US authorities. The information is checked against a “No Fly” list containing tens of thousands of names. Even if the flight plan steers well clear of US territory, travelers whom the Americans regard as suspicious will be denied boarding.
Now the US is demanding passengers’ full names, dates of birth and gender from airlines, at least 72 hour before departure from the UK to Canada. The initial requirement is for flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and the Nova Scotia capital, Halifax – 150 miles from the nearest US territory. A similar stipulation is expected soon for the main airports in western Canada, Vancouver and Calgary.
Any passenger who refuses to comply will be denied boarding. Those who do supply details may find their trip could be abruptly cancelled by the Department of Homeland Security, which says it will “ake boarding pass determinations up until the time a flight leaves the gate … If a passenger successfully obtains a boarding pass, his/her name is not on the No Fly list.” In other words, travellers cannot find out whether they will be accepted on board until they reach the airport.
Where is our America? Where is liberty? Why are we allowing this to happen in our names? President Obama must reign in this out-of-control security apparatus. We must see from him a plan to dismantle the DHS and return America to a pre-9/11 security posture.
NOW BOARDING: WHO IS AFFECTED?
725,000: Number of British visitors to Canada each year. Airports affected: Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax
300,000: Number of British visitors to Mexico each year. Airports affected: Mexico City and Cancun
160,000: Number of British visitors to Cuba each year. Airports affected: Havana, Varadero and Holguin