Reports of kids' private parts being touched and frightened preschoolers, all in the name of security, have many parents hitting the road, rather than the skies this holiday season. Have your plans changed?
Backscatter technology exposes travelers to a small amount of radiation as they walk through the scanner; a concern especially for pilots, frequent fliers, and children, who, some say, could have to worry about skin cancer. According to the director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University, the risks associated with one-time exposure are very, very low. But every time a person is exposed to radiation, the small associated risk is multiplied by the number of exposures. If you're a person who flies several times a month (or each week), the seemingly small risk could potentially turn into a larger problem.
For now (and to protect your holiday sanity), casual travelers — especially those who will be flying for the holidays — shouldn't worry about the effects of these machines.
For more on the new rule, keep reading.
The apps are available for iPhone, Android, and mobile web. I am happy for the new availability, but can't say that I've taken advantage of the new apps for myself yet. Do you download these types of government-issued apps, or do you rely on other sources for your information?
Apparently, Israel isn't too sure about the device and wants to wait until the device is deemed appropriate for Israeli standards before approving it for use in their country.
Good news, iPad owners. In most cases, you won't have to remove your iPad from your bag when going through security checkpoints in airports. According to the TSA, there are several reasons for the allowance: since iPads are much thinner than traditional laptops, they're easier to see on the scanner. Plus, those toting an iPad are less likely
to have a ton of accessories like external hard drives, additional wires, and other accessories that can complicate screenings.
Of course, the TSA does reserve the right to ask you to remove the device, but they say they'll be communicating the new iPad policy to all screeners immediately. Here's hoping the security agents recognize the new gadgets right away . . . remember the MacBook Air airport security debacle in 2008?
Recently domestic airline passenger Sherri Davidoff wrote about her experience boarding an airplane without ID. Security required only basic information before Sherri could board the plane: she provided her name and the street and a state where she had lived previously. Sherri later said that she probably could have skipped even that much questioning by printing two boarding passes at home, and tossing the first one marked for further screening.
Sherri may have arrived at her destination, but the Transportation Security Administration has not forgotten that she showed up ID-less. The TSA has been adding ill-prepared passengers to their database of individuals who have violated security laws or were questioned for suspicious behavior. To see why the TSA wants to keep all the info on hand, read more
The Transportation "Security" Administration might have to rethink its name after it misplaced a laptop containing all of the unencrypted data from 33,000 people who've enrolled in the TSA Clear program for over a week. The info in question includes names and passport, driver's license, and green card numbers — you know, the important stuff.
The laptop belonged to the private company Verified Identity Pass, which runs the program that allows passengers to pay a fee and register to clear security faster in 17 different states. The computer went missing on July 26, but the TSA wasn't notified until Sunday. All of the applicants have to be notified of the security breach. Obviously. The laptop has now been mysteriously recovered, hidden in a "not obvious" location. An investigation is underway as to whether the laptop was stolen and returned, or just misplaced.
Though they might have lost track of that data, they found a whole new (and personal) place to search. To see where, read more
Okay, I stumbled across this and I'm still rubbing my eyes and trying to figure out if it's real. A Playmobil airport security check point set? Complete with potentially-violating metal-detecting wand, and about-to-be-searched wheelie-bag? But the big question is: are the teeny-tiny shoes removable? They might be a choking hazard. . . .
In all seriousness, I was at SFO once and TSA did a drill while I was in the security area — there was yelling, flashing lights, terrifying commotion — but darned if those good folks didn't get in their positions and seal off that area, lickity-split. I couldn't be more glad we have them keeping us safe — but is it a toy? Really?
*Long line sold separately.
If you've ever been stuck in an airport for an extended period of time with a babe, then you know that diapers, baby food, formula and whole milk are near impossible to find. Since all the kiosks sell phone chargers, scarves, and vacation mementos, it's hard to believe there's not one selling baby goods.
Nevertheless, well–prepared traveling parents who pack supplies better think again. To see what happened to a family in Chicago's Midway Airport, read more