Airline passengers welcome new "no fly" rules

Mon Nov 1, 2010 4:09pm EDT
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By Bernd Debusmann Jr.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - 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.

The rules, originally prompted by the September 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.

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 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 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.   Continued...

<p>People wait in line to check in for international flights inside Terminal 1 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York April 19, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>