Tag: TSA

JetBlue Launches Winter Fare Sale

JetBlueJetBlue announced a sale today on winter fares to 55 destinations, from sunny to wintry.  The airline is offering fares as low as $39 on routes such as New York-Boston and San Francisco-Long Beach, Calif.  Blackout dates and other restrictions apply.  Sale fares will be available on JetBlue’s websitethrough Jan. 13th for travel through March 24th.  Fares may require an advance purchase of up to 10 days.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • American Airlines is in the dog-house with the Federal Aviation Administration.  Today the FAA announced that they are keeping a close eye on the airline after three landing mishaps within the last 30 days.  During two separate landing attempts in North Carolina and Texas, the planes wingtips touches the ground.  Also, one plane overshot the runway during heavy rain while trying to land in Jamaica.
  • A power outage at Reagan National Airport today is causing delays for flights out of Washington.  The power reportedly went out shortly after noon today.  All flights were temporarily suspended, but some planes were able to land due to a backup power supply at the air control tower.  Security checks were also being halted due to the power outage.
  • The head of the Los Angeles airport police union this morning urged the federal government to require full-body scanners for every passenger at airport security checkpoints, saying metal detectors are no longer enough.  Los Angeles is currently one of 19 airports nationwide that uses whole-body imagers, but only uses it on passengers selected for secondary screening.
  • A security breach at Newark Liberty International Airport Sunday evening forced the closure of a terminal for hours while authorities re-screened thousands of passengers.  The incident happened at about 5:20 p.m. at Terminal C, when a man walked through an exit on the public side to the secure “sterile” side for passengers who had cleared screening, according to the TSA.  All passengers had been re-screened by early Monday, according to the TSA. Flights from Terminal C were grounded until the process was completed.  Ah, travel sure is going to be fun in 2010 with the heightened security.

Online TSA Manual Causes Massive Security Breach

airport-security-detector1In an alarming security breach, a U.S. airport security manual has been posted on the internet.  The confidential airport passenger screening procedures offer insight into how to sidestep security. The 90-page Transportation Security Administration (TSA) manual was marked “sensitive security information”.  It had been sitting on the internet since March but the blunder has only just been made public by a blogger.

There is plenty of compromising information in the document.  It includes what size of electrical wire can go undetected by airport screening machines, which items that screeners can decide not to check, including wheelchairs, and what the identity cards for the CIA and Federal air marshals look like.

There is also information about the setting on x-ray machines and the devices to detect the presence of explosives.

Here’s some more travel news you can use: (Not that we’re encouraging you to “use” the above information.)

  • To mark Southwest’s new nonstop service from Boston to St. Louis and Denver, the airline is offering discounted airfare for travel from Jan. 11 through March 12. One-way tickets start at $79 between Boston and St. Louis, and $89 between Boston and Denver.  A 14-day advance purchase is required. Book by Jan 10. Discounted fares are not available for Sunday travel.
  • Are you into skiing?  Well listen up.  The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is offering a “2 for 2 Jackson Hole airfare deal“.  The offer includes two free plane tickets when customers purchase an additional two to Jackson Hole for travel during January.  The two free ticket airfare deal has a maximum travel credit of $500 each and must be booked in conjunction with a minimum five-night stay and lift tickets to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The promotion is valid for travel from January 3 – 31, 2010 and must be booked through Jackson Hole Central Reservations by January 1, 2010.

The USA Today reports that the TSA plans to install 150 security machines at airport checkpoints that enable screeners to see under passengers’ clothes.

The installation will vastly expand the use of the controversial body scanners, which can reveal hidden bombs and knives. But the devices have been labeled as intrusive by some lawmakers. The House of Representatives in June overwhelmingly passed a measure that would restrict their use by the TSA to passengers flagged by other types of screening, such as metal detectors. The measure is pending in the Senate.

The $100,000 scanners shoot low-intensity X-rays that penetrate clothing, bounce off a person’s skin and create images that show solid objects as dark areas. The TSA machines have privacy additions to create images that look like etchings. Screeners view them on a monitor in a locked room near a checkpoint and delete them immediately after viewing.

Although the machines use X-rays, a 2003 report by the National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements, which Congress created to develop radiation guidelines, said people can safely be scanned by the machines up to 2,500 times a year.

The TSA has been testing scanners since early 2007, mostly on passengers who set off a metal-detector alarm and are taken aside for additional screening. The new scanners will be installed beginning early next year and will be used in place of metal detectors at checkpoints.

Passengers may choose to avoid the scanners and be screened by a metal detector, but those who do will be pulled aside for a pat-down.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • Delta Air Lines has completed the integration of its frequent flier program with that of its subsidiary, Northwest Airlines.  The combined program has more than 70 million members.  The Chicago Tribune also reports that that about half of the old Northwest Airlines planes that will get Delta’s colors have been repainted, and the rest will be finished by mid-2010.
  • Fortune Magazine offers a good read about “Making business travel fun and easy.”
  • Late-night host Conan O’Brien was banned from Newark Airport after the comic took a swipe at the Garden State’s largest city.  “The mayor of Newark, N.J., wants to set up a citywide program to improve residents’ health. The health care program would consist of a bus ticket out of Newark,” O’Brien cracked last week.  Only Newark Mayor Cory Booker wasn’t laughing.  In a YouTube video, Booker blasts “The Tonight Show” host and informs O’Brien that he isn’t welcome at the city’s bustling airport.  “Try JFK, buddy,” Booker said.  Booker must have seen a swell in traffic to his website because, more recently, he’s released another YouTube video where he “extends” O’Brien’s ban to all of New Jersey.  (I wonder if we’ll see a third video where the good mayor extends the ban to the entire tri-state region?)