New York, NY, Dec 26, 2009:
Your safety is our priority. Passengers flying from International
locations to U.S. destinations may notice additional security measures
in place. Since the recent airport high alert on all in-bound
flights to the United States, you will find that you are being screened
for turbans at the airports and maybe profiled. Additionally due
to the busy holiday travel season, both domestic and international
travelers should allot extra time for check-in.
Passengers travelling internationally could see:
- Increased security screening at gates and when
they check their bags, as well as additional measures on flights such
as stowing carry-ons and personal items before the plane lands.
- Expect delays on US-bound flights. Keep in mind this is a holiday season and the busiest time of the year.
- US-bound flights have been restricted for one carry-on item.
Sikh passengers have
been known to be targets for increased security checks and associated
harassments worldwide. Recently, a Sikh passenger was harassed in
Poland during a security procedure at the airport without any justified
We are seeing an
increased number of cases where Sikhs returning from Pakistan after a
visit to the Sikh shrines have to undergo excessive screening,
delays and harassment at the US airports on in bound flights.
This screening then becomes a pattern under which they get
screened/harassed and delayed following on every International flight
in bound to the United States of America.
Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement Saturday that passengers
flying to the U.S. from overseas may notice extra security. However,
she said "the measures are designed to be unpredictable, so
passengers should not expect to see the same thing everywhere."
UNITED SIKHS is
closely monitoring complaints of harassment from Sikh passengers for
International in-bound flights and will take the issues on a case by
case basis with the TSA and Department of Homeland Security. For this
we need your help and request you to report your experience at all
International Airports by filling in the form available at: http://unitedsikhs.org/exp-at-americanairports
If you feel that you have been racially profiled, if in the USA, please call us at:
1-888-243-1690 or from outside the USA at 001-646-688-3525. You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources for Travellers:
For an earlier press-release on this issue read: http://unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-14-12-2009-00.html
- Helpful Hints for Holiday Travellers: http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/civilrights/travelers.shtm
- Flight Delay Information- Air Traffic Control System Command Center: http://www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/usmap.jsp (Check with your airline if your flight is affected here.Information on wait times at security checkpoints is available here.)
- Department of Homeland Security’s Traveller Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/customer/redress/index.shtm
- TSA Claims management Branch: Department of Homeland http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/customer/claims/index.shtm
- Airport Checked Baggage Guidance Material: http://www.tsa.gov/research/checked_baggage_material.shtm
- Civl Rights for Travellers (Office of Civil Rights and Liberties): http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/civilrights/travelers.shtm
- The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA):
- Overview: http://www.tsa.gov/research/foia/index.shtm
- Department of Homeland Security FOIA: http://www.dhs.gov/xfoia/editorial_0579.shtm
- United States Coast Guard FOIA: http://www.uscg.mil/global/foia.asp
- United States Secret Service: http://www.treas.gov/usss/foia.shtml
Legal Coordinator - West Coast