Hassles Dim the Appeal of Air Travel
from USA Today
Just when travelers had gotten used to carrying miniature bottles of shampoo and walking through checkpoints without their shoes on, air security is being ramped up after a 23-year-old Nigerian man allegedly tried to set off explosives on a Detroit-bound jetliner on Christmas Day. Some passengers are advised to arrive at the airport as much as three hours before their flights. Americans coming home from overseas may undergo a full-body frisk before they board. It's up to the captains on international flights to decide whether passengers can go to the bathroom the last hour of their trip. And federal officials are planning to deploy hundreds of scanning machines that can peer through fliers' clothes at airports across the United States. The beefed-up security -- plus already aggravating airline policies such as double- and triple-digit fees not included in ticket prices -- raises the question: Is flying worth the hassle?
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Most OK with TSA Full-body Scanners
from USA Today
Air travelers strongly approve of the government's use of body scanners at the nation's airports even if the machines compromise privacy, a USA TODAY/Gallup poll finds. Poll respondents appeared to endorse a Transportation Security Administration plan to install 300 scanners at the nation's largest airports this year to replace metal detectors.
Opinion: Airport Security Protecting Us from
Little Old Ladies in Bracelets
from the Arizona Republic
Columnist Susan Estrich writes about her recent airport security experience in Maui. The story unfolds when an elderly lady struggles with the clasp of her bracelet. "They offered to screen her physically, or whatever you call it, 'to get the wand,' but she kept saying she was sure she could get the bracelet, that it must be the clasp. And as we stood, trying and failing, the line backed up, and I tried to smile, and people way behind me started wondering, I'm sure, whether a man on a one-way ticket from Nigeria with no luggage was holding up the line," she writes.
How the Israelis Do Airport Security
In the wake of the failed Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Flight 253, authorities are ramping up air passenger screening, particularly for those flying from 14 nations that the U.S. describes as "state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest." Hundreds more full body scanning machines are on order for U.S. airports. But some airline security experts say the real answer to greater security is to follow the approach used by Israel's airline, El Al.
More Business Travelers Try to Do Trips in One Day
from USA Today
Business travelers are adding a whole new endurance test to the notion of "road warrior." At a time when many companies have slashed budgets and require corporate trips to be as efficient and inexpensive as possible, more business travelers are returning from trips the same day they go rather than spending several nights -- and hundreds of extra dollars -- on the road. Often the trips entail shorter flights of three hours are less. But some business travelers are trekking from coast to coast or even overseas and back without an overnight stay, says Carol Ann Salcito, president of the business travel consulting firm Management Alternatives. More
International Cooperation a Challenge for Air Security
from The Washington Post
As shock fades from the failed Christmas Day bombing of a transatlantic jetliner bound for Detroit, the Obama administration will find that the greatest challenge to tightening aviation security worldwide lies in persuading foreign governments and airports to adopt its proposals, current and former U.S. officials said Friday. In the near term, travelers are unlikely to experience much more disruption, particularly in comparison with the turmoil immediately after the Dec. 25 incident. More
E-Mail? Free. Internet? That'll Cost You.
from The New York Times
As the year started, about 700 commercial airliners were outfitted with Wi-Fi by Gogo, a product of Aircell, which is by far the leading provider of airline Internet connections. That is roughly a quarter of the domestic mainline fleet, excluding regional jets. But no one knows how viable the market for in-flight connectivity can be, given that many passengers, particularly younger ones, resist paying for a Wi-Fi connection.
'Green' Hotels Juggle Conservation with Customer Service
from The Washington Post
It's a conundrum that many travelers face nowadays: They arrive in a hotel that boasts about its environmental credentials, only to see little evidence of them during their stay. When torn between offering conservation benefits and what they consider good service, hotels usually jettison conservation.