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Will Attempted Terrorist Attack and New Restrictions Impact International Travel?


Washington, DC – The U.S. has reversed its rules on the use of airliner restrooms and other restrictions ordered after the apparent attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day. Passengers will now be able to use the lavatory during the final hour of international flights and also use their laptop computers. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had imposed the restrictions following an incident in the cabin of a Detroit-bound Northwest flight that investigators believed was a terrorist attack.

The TSA said it would beef up airport screenings and continued to prohibit pilots from making routine announcements to passengers about cities and landmarks they were passing over. There were no announcements out of Washington that there would be any changes to the U.S. visa process.

Heavy Trade Show Season
The Northwest incident occurred at the height of the holiday travel season and at the same time attendees and exhibitors were preparing to head to the International Consumer Electronics Show, North American International Auto Show, National Retail Federation Annual Convention & Expo, and other major January trade shows. There were no immediate indications that the incident would hurt international event attendance.

Gary Shapiro, president & CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), told Trade Show Executive that the CEA had proactively reached out to attendees by e-mail to remind them of the value of the show and to check the CEA website for updates.

The situation prompted the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) to call for increased government funding for advanced screening technology. “We must find new screening techniques that strengthen security, protect privacy and reduce wait times and other hassles for travelers,” said USTA President and CEO Roger Dow.

Trade Show Executive will continue to provide coverage of this story as it unfolds. Updates will be posted on our website.

Reach Gary Shapiro at  (703) 907-7600 or; Roger Dow at  (202) 408-8422 or

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