Tag: Airport Security

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How a Hotel Chain Transformed an Airport Security Area

June 10, 2014 at 9:42 AM | by | Comments (0)

Those departing Chicago on the way to their summer vacation are about to have another reason to smile, as heading through airport security at O’Hare just got a little better and little more bearable. For most the shoes still need to come off and the laptops will need to go on the belt, but the whole scene will be more enjoyable thanks to some sponsorship and decoration from the folks over at Marriott and SpringHill Suites.

We’ve seen something like this before, but we certainly can’t complain about anything that makes the airport security process that much more enjoyable. Through a partnership with the aforementioned hotel chain as well as the TSA and the airport authority things are a little bit different over at checkpoint number three within the airport’s Terminal 1.

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Mailbag: Why Must I Take Off My Sweatshirt and Light Jacket at Security?

May 27, 2014 at 11:24 AM | by | Comments (0)

Have a question? Drop us a line.

Long lines and the intrusion on our privacy are no doubt two parts of what makes going through TSA security a frustrating experience. Compounding that latter part is the fact that many of the policies seem to either go against logic or contradict what we experience elsewhere in the world. For example, your shoes can stay on in Europe, but they must come off during standard screening in America. And there are plenty of other classic mind-blogging security head scratchers, such as this one.

But the biggest raise of the eyebrow might be that the TSA (sometimes) requires you to remove your light jacket or sweatshirt before you go through the x-ray scanner that has the capability of looking through things. If the scanners can see through us like Superman, why must we remove a jacket?

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Sin City 'Celebs' Star in New Airport Security Videos

May 21, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | Comment (1)

You might just be smiling on your next trip out of Las Vegas, and it will have nothing to do with all the money you won — ‘cause we all know that’s unlikely. Some of the city's most well known celebrities, entertainers, and performers have teamed up to make a few cutesy little videos, as it’s all in the spirit of getting travelers through airport security quickly and efficiently.

Folks like Louie Armstrong, Carrot Top, and the Blue Man Group are all some of the featured acts, as airport officials hope that this kind of “Only in Vegas” approach will speed things up while at the same time having a little bit of fun.

Check out the video above, have yourself a chuckle, and remember not to make jokes when in the line to meet and greet the TSA—it’s not funny.

[Photo/Video: YouTube]

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The Latest TSA Scandal Sweeping the Internet is Hardly a 'Scandal'

April 29, 2014 at 12:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

How is this nonsense still a story? How - after it broke more than a week ago, and was already hopelessly tired back then - are journalists still producing new copy about "outrage" and "fury"? What details remained unexplored through the first three dozen articles, such that we needed more information a week later?

If you don't troll conspiracy theory forums or have a Google Alert set up for TSA, you might not know about video documented barbarism under discussion. You'd be the only one though, since the YouTube upload has been viewed by over 200,000 people in the last 10 days. It's at the bottom of this post too. You're welcome.

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So, About That Teen Stowaway Onboard Hawaiian Airlines...

April 22, 2014 at 3:32 PM | by | Comments (0)

We weren't going to blog this story because there's not much to convey beyond what you already know. A 16 year old teenager fought with his parents, ran away from home, jumped the fence at San Jose International, climbed into the wheel well of an Hawaiian Airlines flight bound for Maui, and then somehow lived to tell the tale.

Hiding in wheel wells is the kind of thing that almost always kills people, which we know because their bodies then fall out of the sky. This kid somehow survived and is now being cared for by child services, so it's a kind of bittersweet thing.

That's really all that can be said about the incident, unless you want to talk about how no one in this country bothers to secure airport runways any more, and you don't need to hear that rant again. Except: it turns out that a 16 year old runaway is newsworthy enough for CNN's Anderson Cooper to devote a 90 second segment to it. And not just any 90 second segment.

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Government Study Proves TSA Behavior Profiling is Useless, TSA Expands It Anyway

April 17, 2014 at 3:43 PM | by | Comment (1)

Last fall the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a study showing that TSA's behavior profiling program - creatively named "SPOT" - was useless. The technical language was that the project succeeded in catching bad guys at a rate only "slightly better than chance," but that's GAO code for "worthless."

Naturally people assumed that the program would be scaled back. Instead - per a Washington Times report from last week that made its way around the Internet - TSA has expanded the program to BWI. Because why should a failure, especially a failure that members of Congress blast as "an intrusion into the privacy of the flying public," prevent programs from steamrolling forward?

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Come On, No One Actually Took That Dutch Girl's Twitter Threat Seriously

April 15, 2014 at 3:59 PM | by | Comments (3)

Apparently there's a debate happening on the Internet - so says the LA Times - over whether the 14 year old Dutch girl who tweeted a terrorist threat to American Airlines was "a victim of security excess" or an "idiot." To which we answer, why can't it be both?

You'll recall that Sarah - of the now-deleted @QueenDemetriax_ Twitter account - tweeted to @AmericanAir over the weekend that "hello my name's Ibrahim and I'm from Afghanistan. I'm part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I'm gonna do something really big bye." The social media mavens at American responded exactly 6 minutes later (faster than they've ever done when, say, we've had a flight canceled) by publicly informing her that her "IP address and details will be forwarded to security and the FBI."

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Notice Anything New About Airport Rail Security?

April 11, 2014 at 1:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

This is a downer of a Friday story, but it's already getting some traction on travel sites. Plus it's going to be airport security news for the next few weeks. Plus it's probably going to affect your actual, physical airport experience. So you might as well get it on your radar now.

The short version - and you can read longer takes with details and videos here and here - is that the spring issue of Al Qaeda's lead magazine Inspire had a picture of the SFO AirTrain, which they captioned "Stand up, pack your tools of destruction, assemble your bomb, ready the detonation." You can understand why some people are talking about this.

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Should TSA Confiscate Things That Look Like Grenades, But Aren't?

March 18, 2014 at 11:02 AM | by | Comments (0)

It's been a week since we've had a post describing some potentially stupid TSA confiscation - the last one involved Lena Dunham and something shaped like a cat - so we're practically overdue. Meet country music promoter, PreCheck member, and perfume wearer Lois Lewis. Two Saturdays ago, she tried to get a 2 ounce bottle of Jimmy Choo perfume through security at PHX. The perfume comes in a case shaped like a grenade.

Cue "womp womp womp" music. The security lane was closed for an hour, bomb experts were called in, and so on. We've embedded a news report at the bottom.

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Lena Dunham Explains Why TSA Confiscated Her Cat Keychain

March 11, 2014 at 4:06 PM | by | Comments (2)

This is a story about Lena Dunham, the TSA, and cats. The only way we could cram more Internet-friendly content into this thing is if we added some kind of Upworthy-style headline - "I Thought I Understood Airport Security; But Then I Saw This Outrageous Tape of A Celebrity Telling Her Brave Story" - but our blogging software won't let us use titles that long.

"Girls" star Lena Dunham was trying to get through airport security at LAX when she was pulled aside for what she later described to Seth Meyers as a "self-defense keychain" in the shape of a cat. Apparently it's the kind of thing where you slip your knuckles into the metal (maybe the eyes?) and then use the sharp bits (maybe the ears?) to stab another human being. The Seth Rogin Twitter feed subsequently tweeted an illustration for viewers who might have been struggling to form a mental picture.

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The Next Airport to Have Automated Passport Kiosks is...

March 11, 2014 at 9:14 AM | by | Comments (0)

We have not been shy when it comes to sharing our love and affection for some of the new technology making its way into the passport and immigration control line. Automated kiosks smooth the process, and of course cutting down on lines after a long-haul flight is always a plus.

This week some of this travel technology makes its way over to Texas, as Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport is now featuring some of those awesome Automated Passport Control kiosks.

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Wait...the TSA is Sending People to Precheck Who Aren't Prechecked?

March 10, 2014 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (2)

If you've been traveling of late, you might have noticed that the TSA has a new strategy of expediting the security screening process, filtering travelers going through general security into the dedicated precheck line at random.

We've seen it at different airports across the country, most recently in Denver and Philly. There's usually a TSA employee standing at a fork in the cattle-call line, and an iPad randomizer determines your fate as to which way you are sent through security. If the arrow points one way, you go through the normal screening lines. But if it points the other, you get to join the TSA precheck line where you, a person who has not signed up for precheck and has not been prescreened, is not required to remove your shoes, laptop, or outer layers.

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