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AAAE Security SmartBrief April 13, 2012

April 13, 2012

30,000-Foot View

TSA will launch new checkpoint management system 
The Transportation Security Administration will launch a new queue management system at airport security checkpoints that measures traffic patterns and wait times. The system, which will display wait times at each checkpoint, is part of an effort to boost customer satisfaction. Travel Daily UK (U.K.) (4/13)

Security Update

TSA detects loaded handgun at Tennessee airport 
A female traveler passing through McGhee Tyson Airport outside Knoxville, Tenn., received a citation for possession of a weapon after she allegedly attempted to pass through a security checkpoint with a loaded handgun in her purse. The traveler told authorities that she forgot she had the gun. Last year, the TSA detected a total of 1,300 firearms at security checkpoints. The Daily Times (Maryville, Tenn.) (4/13)

TSA screening program for older travelers could reach South Fla. 
The Transportation Security Administration is considering expanding a passenger screening program for older travelers to airports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Fla. The new pilot program allows passengers 75 and older to forgo pat-downs during screenings — a common source of complaints among older fliers. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (4/13)

Trends & Technology

N.Y. airports will begin clean-bathroom campaign 
New York airports are cleaning up their act — starting with the bathrooms. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plans to introduce a 90-day initiative to offer cleaner restrooms and improved customer service at the three major airports in the New York area. The Wall Street Journal/The Associated Press (4/11)

Steep airfares to Europe are sending travelers to other destinations 
Travelers are seeking cheaper vacation spots over popular tourist destinations in Europe as high oil prices and major events continue to drive airfares and hotel rates up, this feature says. “People are being more careful. We’re seeing a shift in behavior to some of the more resort-y markets where there are deals to be had,” said Joe Megibow of Expedia.com The Wall Street Journal (4/12)

Airline News Spotlight

Southwest 737-800 completes maiden flight from Baltimore 
Southwest Airlines is adding Boeing 737-800s to its fleet. The jets carry 38 more passengers than Southwest’s Boeing 737-700, an increase in capacity of around 30%. The 737-800 jet made its maiden commercial flight for Southwest on Wednesday from Baltimore to Fort Myers, Fla. USA TODAY/Today In The Sky blog (4/11) The Washington Post (4/11) The Sun (Baltimore) (4/11)

Delta breaks ground on $160M LaGuardia hub makeover 
Delta Air Lines has begun the $160 million makeover of its hub at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. “The project includes a 630-foot connector bridge linking Terminals C and D, a new Delta Sky Club in Terminal C and expanded security lanes in both terminals,” Jacques Couret writes. American City Business Journals/Atlanta (4/11)

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