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Frequent fliers say pre-screening programs make traveling easier

June 4, 2012

30,000-Foot View

Frequent fliers say pre-screening programs make traveling easier
Some frequent fliers say government and commercial programs that allow them to move more quickly through airport security checkpoints have made a real difference in their travel experience. Steve Wright, an executive and frequent flier, recently moved to the front of a security line at the San Francisco airport because he participates in the Clear program. “I travel a ton. There are many things that have gotten worse (with traveling). But this has gotten better. It makes traveling bearable again,” Wright said. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (6/4)

Security Update

Suspicious item prompts evacuation at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport
A “suspicious device” found in a piece of checked luggage prompted officials to evacuate Terminal 2 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for two hours on Sunday. Police questioned the female traveler who owned the checked bag, and a bomb squad examined the object. The traveler was not arrested. Officials offered no additional details about the incident. The Post-Bulletin (Rochester, Minn.) (6/3)

Trends & Technology

Traveler data may be key to improved airport experience
Industry experts are investigating the best ways to improve passenger experience in airports. Seeking to solve problems such as long lines, congestion and missed flights, some report that “big data,” or access to traveler’s data via their personal devices, may be the key to streamlining the passenger experience. (6/1)

Opinion: Airlines face slow long-term growth over sluggish demand
U.S. airlines are in for weak growth in the long term mainly because they have not made enough advancements in travel speed and comfort to spur demand for air travel, writes Severin Borenstein of the University of California, Berkeley. “If airlines are going to overcome the time barrier to growth in demand, air travel has to take less time or be less unpleasant,” Borenstein writes. Bloomberg (6/3)

Safety Matters Spotlight

Laser beams continue to pose problems at South Carolina airport
Laser strikes against aircraft continue to pose a problem at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach airport. Last week, a laser hit an inbound airplane?s windshield. ?It is very conceivable to think that the green lasers could play a detrimental role in the safety of the crew and passengers if these lasers are shined at an aircraft, especially while landing,? said Mark Volk, a Myrtle Beach area pilot. Meanwhile, a city ordinance prohibits the sale of laser pointers to minors and makes it illegal to shine a laser beam into another person?s eyes. The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) (6/3)

Policy & Regulatory

Lawmakers urge TSA, union to finalize contract
Two House members are urging the Transportation Security Administration and the union that represents its employees to finalize a collective bargaining agreement. Reps. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., sent letters to TSA Administrator John Pistole and union President John Gage. They said that the two sides must reach an agreement in 30 days or the negotiations will go to arbitration. The Washington Post (6/4)

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