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AAAE Security SmartBrief June 5, 2012

June 5, 2012

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North Carolina travelers don’t mind full-body scanners
Screening by new full-body scanners did not bother some travelers passing through North Carolina’s Wilmington International Airport this week. “I think they should use them,” said traveler John Cawein, who was flying to New York. “Anything to make it safer.” The Transportation Security Administration has installed 700 of the machines at 180 airports in the U.S. Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.) (6/4)

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Security Update

Special lines help travelers speed through security
Some travelers don’t know that designated security lines may save them time as they pass through airport checkpoints. At several airports, the Transportation Security Administration asks travelers to select a line based on how familiar they are with the screening process. For example, the Black Diamond line is reserved for frequent or experienced travelers. “I know, first of all, that when you get behind that family, you’re automatically thinking, ‘Oh my gosh! This is going to take forever,'” noted traveler Kristy Witzky, who uses the line for families. “But now [the expert traveler] can go on about his way and we don’t feel the pressure of traveling.” KUSA-TV (Denver) (6/4)

Trends & Technology

Airlines expand basic- and premium-economy classes of service
Delta Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines are instituting two levels of economy-class service. Basic-economy service will be a no-frills experience for passengers looking to spend less, and premium-economy service will offer extra perks such as more seat room and early boarding. “Our expansion of Economy Comfort gives customers more premium seats to choose from no matter where they fly on Delta,” said Glen Hauenstein, a Delta executive vice president. American City Business Journals/Austin, Texas (5/31) CNBC (5/31)

Technology is seen as driving next phase of travel’s evolution
Industry experts are investigating the best ways to improve the passenger experience in airports. Seeking to solve problems such as long lines, congestion and missed flights, some report that “big data,” or access to travelers’ data via their personal devices, may be the key to streamlining the passenger experience. This feature details how access to real-time traveler data can enhance the traveler experience. (6/1)

Most travelers set airfare limit at $200 to $500, survey shows
A survey by Travel Leaders Group has found that 81.5% of consumers would refuse to travel by air if domestic ticket prices reach $200 to $500. However, the survey also found that 83.1% of respondents plan to maintain or increase their leisure-travel spending this year against spending in 2011. “Consumers will readily pay if their needs are exceeded and they see great value in what they are purchasing. However, most will not indiscriminately spend,” said Barry Liben, CEO of Travel Leaders Group. TravelPulse (6/4)

Policy & Regulatory

43 TSA workers at Fla. airport are punished over security lapses
The Transportation Security Administration has suspended 38 employees at Southwest Florida International Airport and fired five. They were accused of failing to uphold security procedures. An internal investigation revealed that the 43 supervisors and front-line screeners did not subject passengers to random checks for a two-month period in 2011. CNN (6/4) The Arizona Republic (Phoenix)/Gannett Washington Bureau (6/4)

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