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New security measures installed at the request of the FAA at all US airports will remove much of the simplicity of tickets bought over the Internet.

Previously, passengers needed only to show a valid form of ID like a driving licence at the gate to catch an internal flight. Now however, passengers will be required to present a receipt of their e-ticket purchase before being allowed past security.

The tougher security measures come in response to the terrorist attacks suffered in the US this week after groups of men hijacked several planes and flew them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Airlines are implementing the rule that proof of ticket purchase must be shown before boarding in different ways. Some are allowing passengers to print out confirmation of their purchase and offer that as proof. However there is no escaping the fact that much of the convenience of e-tickets has been lost and people will have to queue for long periods to catch a flight.

It is hoped that this and other measures will make it far harder for a terrorist to board a plane, and US authorities arrested five men trying to get on a flight this morning. They had apparently been stopped on Tuesday attempting to board another plane. Yesterday a man whose credit card had been used to purchase tickets for the terrorists was arrested in the US.

No clear explanation has been given over how the proof of ticket checking procedure will reduce the likelihood of a terrorist boarding a plane but many travellers will feel more secure with the new rule in place.

Sharp implements banned

No knives or even sharp objects such as knitting needles are being allowed on in hand luggage. Other security measures include a ban on luggage check-in by airport entrances and passenger check-in anywhere but the airport itself. US Airports that open have had to conduct a thorough search, increase police numbers in the airport and reduce access to any parts of the airport beyond the security area. ®

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