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To Fly or Not to Fly – Good Deals and Bad Deals

February 24, 2011 | Posted in: Deals,Destinations,Multimedia,Security | 0 comments

To Fly or Not to Fly - Good Deals and Bad Deals

Ever wonder if certain places are safe to fly to?

Maybe a destination you’d normally never consider, but what if you see a super good deal – what then?

That was the topic of my weekly column for ABCNews.com yesterday – called, “To Fly or Not to Fly” and I’ve got lots of advice on the subject.

I also talked about the issue of cheap flights vs. security on Good Morning Texas today, plus I examined some specific airfare deals and pronounced them “good deals” or “bad deals”. It was fun – take a look:

Airport Security: More Body Scanners, More Controversy

May 13, 2010 | Posted in: Passengers,Security | 10 comments

airport security body scanners controversy

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says 300+ body scanners are on the way to an airport near you, so – get used to it.

Or get used to a patdown – your choice when it comes to going through these body imaging machines (you may remember, I went through an airport body scan machine and, no complaints here).

Meanwhile, the controversy continues – including an ugly episode of alleged workplace violence involving TSA employees; check it out in, “Security Update: More TSA Body Scan Machines Coming to an Airport Near You”.

Guns in the Airport: I Don’t Like It. How About You?

May 6, 2010 | Posted in: Security,Travel Safety,Travel Tips | 21 comments

guns in the airport i don't like it how about you

Did you hear what the Georgia legislature did?

They voted to allow people – with properly licensed guns – to bring them into that state’s airports.

The non-secure areas of airports, that is, which would include terminals, baggage claim, parking lots and the like.

I don’t like it. See where I’m coming from in “Guns at the Airport: Worst Idea Ever?” and tell me if you agree – or, disagree.

We Got Lucky with Airport Security. Too Bad We Had To.

May 5, 2010 | Posted in: Security,Travel Safety,Travel Tips | 8 comments

KEY WORDS

I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the capture of the suspected “Times Square Bomber”.

Maybe not all about it. I mean, do you know how close this guy was to getting out of the country?

It makes you wonder about our airport security. And it makes me incredibly disappointed – and I note in this new article called, “‘We Got Lucky’ is No Way to Conduct Airport Security” – take a look, I think you’ll enjoy it.

Plane Crazy: Another Bomb Threat Diverts Airliner

April 29, 2010 | Posted in: Airline News,Delta,News,Security,Travel Safety | 1 comment

plane crazy bomb threat airline

Okay, this is getting seriously ridiculous.

Somebody wrote what was considered to be a “threatening message” – a bomb threat of some kind – on a lavatory mirror aboard a Continental flight from Houston to Washington Dulles (actually, this flight was operated by ExpressJet).

There was no bomb, fortunately – but why would anyone do this? Did they want to make a side trip to Greensboro, North Carolina where the flight was diverted to?

A plane load of passengers was totally inconvenienced – just like the people on the Delta flight from Paris Tuesday, after a decorated combat vet allegedly made a bomb threat, causing his flight to divert to Maine.

Regarding that “lavatory mirror threat” – what are the rest of us supposed to do – become bathroom monitors? Take a good hard look at whoever is in the lavatory line ahead of us, so we can ID them later if need be?

I hope not. But it’s getting crazy out there…

Man Allegedly Talks of Setting Shoes on Fire on Flight

April 7, 2010 | Posted in: Airfare News,Security,Travel Safety,United | 0 comments

shoes fire flight

UPDATE: Further reports indicate this was a “misunderstanding” and there was no real threat.

Was this a threat? Or a massive misunderstanding?

ABC is reporting that a diplomat from Qatar – who was on a United flight from Washington to Denver – allegedly said to federal air marshals, “I’m lighting my shoes on fire.”

The man was then wrestled to the ground, while two fighter jets escorted the plane the rest of the way to Denver. The aircraft landed safely.

What first appeared to be a potential threat – possibly a terrorist incident – may turn out to be nothing more than a big misunderstanding, according to ABC. This is from the news organization’s website:

“A US security official said, ‘it may have been a massive misunderstanding’ and the diplomat’s statement may have been a ‘sarcastic’ comment when he was confronted by two air marshals who had been told by flight attendants that smoke was coming from the lavatory.” - ABCNews.com, 4-7-10

 There is so much we don’t know about this incident that I hesitate to comment, but as a generality, it is never advisable to make any sort of joke about security procedures.

Six Travel Mini-Disasters and How to Fix Them

You’re heading for a well-deserved vacation – or you’re already basking on the beach, when… 

Disaster strikes!

Or  maybe, just a mini-disaster. You know, a stolen wallet, or a botched name on your airline tickets, or your suitcase arrives on the carousel with its only handle snapped off. What do you do?

I tackle those problems and more in my latest weekly column for ABCNews.com, called “Six Travel Mini-Disasters and How to Fix Them”.

For instance, if your wallet – or more to the point, your driver’s license or passport has been lost or stolen, get yourself to the nearest police station immediately. Making a report and leaving a paper trail can be vital to getting your goods back, or at least, proving that what you say happened, actually did.  Then you have to get yourself to the airport on departure day extra early – in case the TSA decides extra screening is needed for poor ID-less you.

Check out the column – it’s a fun read, and might save you some hassles down the road.

New US Airport Security Measures for International Travelers

April 2, 2010 | Posted in: Airfare News,Security,Travel Safety | 0 comments

us security international travelers

In the wake of the attempted Christmas Day bombing aboard a Northwest plane, the U.S. began mandatory screening of travelers from 14 countries* – but this program has now been scrapped in favor of new security measures announced today.

It’s clearly a more focused approach to security: as reported by Reuters, the new measures call for extra scrutiny of passengers based on “characteristics pulled together by intelligence agencies” as opposed to being a resident of a particular country or a person of a specific nationality. Travelers who match intelligence information on terrorism suspects, including “physical description, partial name or travel patterns” will undergo additional screening.

It’s said that the new security procedures are supposed to “significantly reduce” the number of people pulled aside for extra screening – which could mean quicker lines through international security – and that’s a good thing.

*The 14 countries on the “old” mandatory screening list: Cuba, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.

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