Airline passengers welcome new U.S. "no fly" rules

* Meant to keep suspects off, allow innocents to fly

* Coincidence that implementation follows air cargo scare

By Bernd Debusmann Jr.

NEW YORK, Nov 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Airline passengers in New York
welcomed stricter safety rules that went into effect on Monday,
especially in light of last week’s interception of U.S.-bound
parcel bombs sent from Yemen. [nYEMEN]

The rules, originally prompted by the Sept. 11, 2001
attacks but delayed by privacy concerns, require airlines to
collect a passenger’s full name, date of birth and gender on
all flights to and from U.S. airports.

The program is aimed at ensuring that passengers on the “no
fly” list are kept off planes — and that innocents are not
wrongly barred from flying. It is meant to prevent airlines
from issuing a boarding pass if the information is incomplete.[ID:nN29217376]

Passengers interviewed at New York’s John F. Kennedy
airport overwhelmingly supported the rules, which major
airlines had largely been implementing anyway before their
formal introduction.

“What happened last week shows that terrorists would still
like to attack an airplane. It’s scary, so whatever precautions
they feel like taking, I’m OK with,” said Lawrence Varner, 75,
a retiree who had just arrived from Tennessee.

One package was found on a United Parcel Service (UPS.N: )
cargo plane at East Midlands Airport, north of London, on
Friday. The other bomb was discovered in a computer printer
cartridge in a parcel at a FedEx (FDX.N: ) facility in Dubai.

“I don’t think people should complain, especially given the
fact that there have been recent plots against airplanes in the
news, like that one last week,” said Daniel Metz, 37, a bar
owner.

“These things are probably necessary. Terrorists are still
trying to attack, and that needs to be made difficult for
them,” added Rosie Duarte, 28, who is unemployed.

The new rules, called Secure Flight, were established as
part of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, which
investigated the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It was coincidental
that they came into effect days after last week’s incidents.

“I’m not worried about the no-fly list or having to provide
information. It’s the ones that they don’t know about, at all,
that concern me. None of the 9/11 hijackers were on a no-fly
list,” said Bryan Pettit, 30, a teacher.

Trade groups representing major airlines say carriers
already comply with Secure Flight rules and expect no
disruption for travelers.

Far less popular were “body scanners,” the advanced imaging
technology in use at 65 airports in the United States.
Passengers who fear an invasion of privacy can opt for a
pat-down search instead.

“I’m not comfortable with either the pat down or the scan,”
said James Carol, 29, a lawyer from San Francisco. “They’re
only giving us two bad options and finding out which we dislike
less.”
(Reporting by Bernd Debusmann Jr.; Writing by Daniel Trotta;
Editing by David Storey)

Airline passengers welcome new U.S. "no fly" rules