Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Retaliation - Will Alaskans Be Required to get Pre-Approval when flying over Canada?

This warning for Alaskans found at Boing Boing while attempting to get follow up information on the Icelandic woman held at JFK.

Many flights from Western Canada to southern Ontario pass over US territory. The US is now making noises that they may require passengers on such flights to be pre-approved by US authorities up to 72 hours in advance. This also applies to Canadian flights to Mexico, Cuba and other points south.

It will be politically impossible for the Canadian government not to impose similar conditions on US flights passing over Canada. This included flights from Alaska to the Eastern US, and most flights from the US to Europe.

It'll be amusing to watch the reaction of some US congressman travelling from Washington to Alaska or Europe, when Canada denies him permission to get on the flight because he didn't book far enough in advance.

I guess the flights to Seattle could veer out over the ocean a bit to avoid this, but will they?

And another reminder that what we do without thinking has long term consequences:

China raised its visa fees for Americans to match what the US charges foreigners. They also require you to come to the embassy or consulate in person as the US does in China. Fortunately, the Chinese did this only symbolically - you can hire someone to take your passport in for you and get a visa if you don't have a local consulate.

Brazil also instituted fingerprinting of Americans coming into Brazil in retaliation for this requirement by American Customs.

Let's hope wiser heads prevail.


  1. Several years ago, my wife and I were in Buffalo and had a few hours so we drove up into Canada, upon coming back, the border guard asked if we had anything to declare, we didn't. He had us get out of car and open trunk, looked under seats etc. He did it very rudely.
    As we drove away, I wondered what someone visiting the USA would think.

  2. Mexicans visiting the US have to setup a telephonic appointment. It's a 900 number, so they get charged just to make the appointment. After a few months waiting time, you get to go the embassy, pay again and then get either denied or a limited visiting visa. Sometimes they will ask you to bring your plane tickets, to make sure that you have a return. However, it has been the case that some people were asked to bring that information and then they were denied. The airlines of course did not issue a refund.

    A visit to the embassy can vary, between 1 hour to 10 hours depending on your luck and the mood of the person working the counter. People in Mexico City refer to the waiting area as the chicken barn. It kinda looks like one.

  3. Who does this benefit? Amtrack! The ferry system! Canada doesn't care who flies through it's airspace. If Americans are not traveling abroad, we are staying in our own country, going where it's easiest. This is making Alaska a northern, exotic outpost again. Will prisoners have to be shipped up from AZ and wherever else she sends them literally on ships? I started this out very tongue in cheek but sheesh, Steve, it almost makes sense!


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