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Sunday musings: TSA Genius video, knowing travel rights, travel fees to avoid

“TSA Genius” — A look into an Al Qaeda meeting TSA security, the part of travel that well all seem to dislike, is spoofed in this Comedy Central skit about an Al Qaeda meeting in a cave. The participants come up with idea after idea about ways to bring down a plane but, in the […]


Stop dressing police and TSA like storm troopers

This past week in Ferguson, Missouri, next to St. Louis, violence has erupted after an unarmed person of color was shot and killed by a policeman. The ensuing riots and uproar have fixated the nation on a problem that has been brewing for years. It is brewing near your communities — the connection between the […]


TSA to eliminate freebies in Pre-Check lanes

Let’s face it, TSA’s PreCheck program is an attempt to move back to the days before 9/11 of a simpler, easier, faster way through airport security. The goal, according to John Pistole, TSA Administrator, is to have more and more lanes devoted to PreCheck, so more customers can experience the expedited screening process. The big […]


Airport security is a farce

Ron Hall thinks airport security is a farce, and I think he may be on to something. On a recent flight from Dallas to Chicago, he tangoed with the TSA at a checkpoint, with frustrating results. His takeaway: This is a circus, this thing we call security. Hall’s experience (OK, he didn’t actually dance, but […]


TSA fees jump more than 100% today

Today’s the day when airfares will increase, thanks to a jump in the 9/11 Security Fee from $2.50 per segment with a cap of $5 for one-way trips and $10 for round-trips, to $5.60 for a one-way regardless of the number of stops and an elimination of the cap on round-trip airfares. Consumers banded together […]


3 additional rules for packing checked luggage defensively

Last week I wrote about “5 rules for packing checked luggage defensively.” The rules are necessitated by woeful liability limits, set by governments, for luggage lost or damaged by the airlines. The liability issue is further exacerbated on US domestic flights by the airlines eliminating their liability, as per their contracts of carriage, on breakables, […]


Large numbers of non-members in TSA Precheck lines reveal TSA humbug

Pre-Check is the security program offered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) which allows some air travelers to use “expedited security lanes” at some airport security checkpoints for both domestic and international travel. Those passing through Pre-Check security lines avoid full body scanners and/or enhanced pat-downs and instead pass through metal detectors or are scanned […]


TSA gooses the pre-check program with random passengers — bravo!

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) knows that the careful screening of passengers at airport checkpoints is a bit of overkill. They know that if a terrorist makes it to the airport and as far as the TSA checkpoint with a bomb, more than a score of security systems have been bypassed. When they randomly shift […]