Published December 13, 2012
It's a nice holiday gift for busy international travelers.
On Wednesday, the U.S. House passed the “No-Hassle Flying Act,” a bill that would allow Transportation Security Administration officials more discretion in screening checked baggage arriving in the U.S. from certain international airports.
Passengers originating from foreign airports must have their baggage screened twice when returning to the U.S. Under the bill, TSA officers would decide whether baggage on flights coming from select airports in Canada, the Caribbean and Ireland where U.S. Customs and Border Protection has established “preclearance operations” need to be re-screened in the U.S. before continuing onto another flight.
The practice of re-screening checked baggage arriving from preclearance airports was causing many passengers to miss connecting domestic flights, according to lawmakers.
In a statement the TSA says it supports the legislation "as it will greatly improve the customer experience and improve efficiency for cross-border travel.”
Several travel industry groups have also applauded the measure.
"This is a smart, efficient way to streamline travel, boost tourism and lower costs while maintaining the highest security standards," said Airlines for America president and CEO Nicholas Calio.
Michael W. McCormick, the Global Business Travel Association executive director and COO commented: “GBTA commends Congress for its bipartisan support of legislation to facilitate business travel to the United States."
The bill now heads to the White House where it awaits the President's signature.