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There’s a new fun activity to try on your next trip to Hawaii, and you won’t even need to leave the airport. It’s do-it-yourself baggage tagging, and it’s a brand new option thanks to Hawaiian Airlines. We’re sure you now want to visit the Aloha State now more than ever—right?
Seriously though we kind of love the idea, and imagine that it should be a pretty slick process for those checking their bags back to the mainland, other countries, or just over to one of the neighboring islands. Passengers at Honolulu International Airport will be able to weigh and tag their own bags, and Hawaiian Airlines is quick to point out that they’re the first carrier in the US to go all in with this process at one of their hubs.
Remember a few years ago when TSA officials moved to unionize their workers, and then we expressed concerns to the effect that unions might protect deadbeat screeners, then TSA said of course that wouldn't be allowed to happen, then we debunked their logic, then TSA unionized anyway? And then remember that other time a little later, when 36 TSA workers got fired from Honolulu International Airport because they failed to scan bags for explosives, and then unions rushed in to protect them?
You'll be happy to know that one of those employees - a manager named Raymond Ware - was reinstated after a lengthy challenge. He's getting his job back plus back pay.
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Two vintage uniforms with the current one (at right)
"Today we united the two best cities in the countryNew York and Honolulu. We'll have you on the beach, Mai Tai in hand, on the same day."
These words come from Mr. Mark Dunkerley, CEO of Hawaiian Airlines and the smilingest person last night at the party to celebrate the start of the airline's first flight between JFK and HNL. Of course he'd say this, since it's not only his airline, but his party and his Airbus A330-220 widebody that'll be zipping tropics-minded passengers on the long 10-hour flight.
Still, the start of this route marks a historic occasion for the airline and JFK airport, since Hawaiian has been around since 1929 and never before pulled their purple tail in a gate in the Big Apple. Now you'll be able to find the purple tail sticking out from the field of blue at JetBlue's T5 at JFK.
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We’ve got one more reason to skip Sbarro on your next layover, and that’s so you’ll be able to fit into all the itty bitty things that Victoria’s Secret has to offer. The purveyors of fine undies and other sexy little things are making the move from catalog and mall to the airport, and it’s not just domestic airports either; they’re going global.
Over in Amsterdam, the secret was out this summer, as the store opened up its very first location inside the city’s Schiphol Airport. Of course there will be plenty of under things, but don’t forget those lotions, perfumes, and other beauty goods. This newest location is in addition to a few other options that have been around for a couple years in spots like Brazil, Argentina and Dubai.
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Covering TSA scandals is always kind of a pain. Whenever the agency commits an obvious mistake or wants to adopt a boneheaded policy, it's never possible to just write about that. On top of the actual mistake or policy, there's always the spectacle of the agency just randomly making things up to make criticism go away.
When TSA officials accidentally released classified information, they brazenly insisted that it was no big deal. When racial screening was discovered at Newark, the agency absurdly declared that they were retraining every single worker at the airport. When critics worried about data being saved on full-body scanners, TSA lied and said that wasn't possible. And so on.
Rewind to June 2010, when we started tracking efforts to have TSA employees unionize, and we expressed the same concerns as many other critics: that newly-unionized TSA agents would use their membership to avoid accountability for poor performance. Pro-union TSA officials responded by insisting that unions would have nothing to do with "any topics that might affect security," in response to which we wrote an extended debunking describing the promise as "insultingly stupid."
Honolulu International Airport is already in the middle of a decade filled with construction equipment, as the airport does its best to spiffy things up for the future. Adding to all the renovation fun is Hawaiian Airlines, as they’re looking to speed up and improve the check-in process for most of their flights that originate in Honolulu. The airline is planning to spend $6 million to add all the new bells and whistles, so we just hope it makes inter-island-hopping smoother.
Say goodbye to long ticket counter lines and aloha to brand new circular check-in kiosks. Ticket counters will be pulled out and replaced with six new circular areas—they’re calling them islandsget it? Two will be found in Lobby 3 and four will be added to Lobby 2, all in the airport’s Terminal 2. Agents will still be on hand to help out those who need it—like us when the stupid computer freezes—but it will mostly be up to passengers to get the necessary paperwork for interisland, mainland, and international flights.
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Although it still has maintained its island vibe and aloha spirit, the airport where most visitors begin their trip to paradise has definitely been showing its age. One of the first steps in an over $2 billion renovation is opening up next month, as a brand new international arrivals corridor will open to meet jet-lagged guests arriving after long flights from across the globe. That means fewer chances to ride the Wiki-Wiki in and around the airport.