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Clear, PreCheck expand to airports throughout U.S.

July 27, 2012

30,000-Foot View

Clear, PreCheck expand to airports throughout U.S.
The Clear and PreCheck pre-screening programs are quickly expanding to airports across the U.S. PreCheck, operated by TSA, allows travelers to move more quickly through security checkpoints by allowing them to keep their shoes and jackets on. The program is available to elite frequent fliers on participating airlines, or costs $100 for five years if travelers opt in via CBP’s Global Entry Program. Clear, on the other hand, costs $179 per year and allows travelers to bypass the security line. However, travelers are still subject to standard TSA screening procedures. With Clear, travelers are also subject to a thumbprint or an iris scan. PCWorld Business Center (7/26)

Security Update

TSA fires 5 workers for failing to conduct random screening
Five Transportation Security Administration workers at Southwest Florida International Airport were terminated after a TSA investigation found that they failed to properly screen travelers last year. The investigation ultimately found that dozens of employees did not perform random screenings at the airport. Thirty-three employees were suspended. TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz said the failure to perform the additional screenings did not pose a threat to security. “The TSA investigation found that all passengers and their bags were screened and travelers were never in danger,” she said. “Our investigation determined that some employees did not follow the proper procedure for applying random, supplemental screening procedures which provide an additional layer of security.” Naples Daily News (Fla.) (7/26)

Trends & Technology

Q1 average airfare rose 4.8% year-over-year, DOT says
The Transportation Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that the average domestic airfare for the first quarter jumped to $373, from $356 in the first quarter of 2011. This represents a 4.8% increase from the same period a year ago and sets a record for any quarter. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (7/26) CNN (7/26)

Airline News Spotlight

Alaska Air Group posts $67.5M profit for Q2
Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, has posted a profit of $67.5 million for the second quarter. The figure was more than double the $28.8 million reported for the second quarter a year ago. Revenue for the quarter rose by 9.3%. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (7/26)

American Airlines and US Airways CEOs comment on possible merger
American Airlines CEO Tom Horton says he approached US Airways CEO Doug Parker first about a possible merger, not vice versa. Parker says he is skeptical of an American Airlines plan to send nondisclosure agreements to five airlines to evaluate the prospect of a merger. American Airlines parent company AMR filed for bankruptcy protection in November. Tulsa World (Okla.)/The Associated Press (7/26) The Wall Street Journal (7/25)

Outside vendors will perform some United cargo work
United Airlines’ ongoing integration with Continental Airlines will require it to outsource some of its cargo operations. United will outsource some operations in Houston and other airports. “We have been analyzing our staffing across our business, and we’ve concluded that it makes financial and operational sense to transition cargo operations to outside vendors,” United spokeswoman Christen David said. She noted that the airline will continue to perform plane-side cargo handling. Houston Chronicle (7/26) USA TODAY/Today in the Sky blog (7/26) Chicago Tribune (free registration) (7/26) The Wall Street Journal (7/27)

United Continental reports $339M earnings for Q2
United Continental Holdings has reported earnings of $339 million for the second quarter, compared to earnings of $538 million for the same quarter the previous year. The carrier’s revenue rose by 1.3% for the quarter, but it continues to face costs from the merger of United Airlines and Continental Airlines. USA TODAY/The Associated Press (7/26)

Policy & Regulatory

No-fly list lawsuit may proceed, appeals court rules
A lawsuit that seeks to remove 15 people from the no-fly list or require the government to tell them why they are on the list may proceed in federal court, a federal appeals court ruled. A lower court had dismissed the case last year on the grounds that it had no jurisdiction over Transportation Security Administration policies. The appeals court found that the Terrorist Screening Center, not the TSA, can remove the individuals from the list. The district court has jurisdiction over the center, according to the appeals court. The Washington Post/The Associated Pre

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