Hmm, maybe LS09 isn’t such a shoo-in

Take the horrendous nightmare that is the typical British airport, add the high cost and hassle that comprise the typical British passport application, and then add a pinch of more American government lunacy. Matters may proceed from bad to worse when it comes to flying to the States in this post-9/11 world. The Guardian has the scoop, which has also been picked up by boingboing:

The demand to put armed air marshals on to the flights is part of a travel clampdown by the Bush administration that officials in Brussels described as “blackmail” and “troublesome”, and could see west Europeans and Britons required to have US visas if their governments balk at Washington’s requirements.

According to a US document being circulated for signature in European capitals, EU states would also need to supply personal data on all air passengers overflying but not landing in the US in order to gain or retain visa-free travel to America, senior EU officials said.

And within months the US department of homeland security is to impose a new permit system for Europeans flying to the US, compelling all travellers to apply online for permission to enter the country before booking or buying a ticket, a procedure that will take several days.

It’s not all sweetness and light in Europe either. Reuters reports that some EU states are considering US-style fingerprinting too:

“It’s boys with toys. They want to have the toys the Americans have,” said Gus Hosein of the Privacy International watchdog, referring to the U.S. practice of scanning the fingerprints and picture of foreigners entering the United States, adopted by Washington after the September11, 2001 attacks.

Read more (with onward links) at


  1. The whole system is insane. The only thing you can be sure of is that we will be able to get to the US without a visa next January. It would just cost too much for both countries involved to prevent travel. I guess we may just end up giving even more biometric data to get into Orlando.Matt White#
  2. I’m drawing the line at photos of my winkle though, I’ll say that right now.

    Are you listening FAA, BAA and cronies? Meh!Ben Poole#
  3. @2 - if you check Flickr in about 3 minutes …
    ;-)Julian Woodward#

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