House bill ends second bag checks on some flights

AP News
Posted: Sep 11, 2012 5:39 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Tuesday took steps to eliminate a requirement that passengers flying from certain foreign airports have their checked bags screened a second time when they arrive in the United States and continue on an additional flight.

Current law already stipulates that passengers arriving from one of 14 pre-clearance foreign airports do not need to go through a second full security check when they transfer to a domestic flight. The measure passed by the House on a voice vote would give the Transportation Security Administration the authority to extend that re-screening waiver to their bags as well.

The TSA has determined that those 14 airports — eight in Canada, four in the Caribbean and two in Ireland — have security staff and procedures that are at or above U.S. standards.

Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., the sponsor of the legislation, said passengers arriving from those destinations must now claim their bags, have them screened again and then go back through security. "This double security does not equal double safety," he said. "It equals missed flights, more hassles and wastes taxpayer dollars."