Category Archives: Safety and Security

The TSA’s role reversal

Smart bags are fairly new. They not only offer a place for your belongings while traveling, but they also have built-in technological features. Examples are USB ports, remote lock systems, a tracking device and an internal weight scale so that you can see when you are over-packing and your bag will exceed an airline’s weight limit. Thanks to a GPS system you will know where your bag is even before the carrier will know it. The most advanced smart bag is even motorized. You can sit on it and ride at a speed...
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Lessons from the PED bans

The ban on large personal electronic devices (PED) in the cabin illustrated the lack of coordination and information sharing between intelligence services. The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was the first to announce a ban, but soon doubts rose about the motivation. Was the goal really enhancing security or improving the competitive position of US airlines? The UK followed suit with its own ban that differed from the USA’s. One thing was clear: if security was indeed the primary concern, the USA and the UK had obtained different information and...
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Panic is a bad counselor

New security procedures are taking effect at airports in Asia and Europe for flights bound for the USA. They vary by country and are being implemented over a period of several months. Although the deadline was late October, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has given several airlines an extension until early 2018 to comply with the new rules. They imply more passengers “randomly” selected for additional screening, more scrutiny of electronic devices and more travelers subjected to questioning either through verbal questioning or questionnaires passengers must fill out. In March...
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This airline flies in face of Irma

A flight took off from New York City's JFK airport on September 8, 2017 and flew to San Juan in Puerto Rico in face of hurricane Irma. This flight continued whereas aircraft from other carriers including American Airlines and JetBlue turned around. You can see on the first map that the plane flies toward the massive hurricane Irma that is approaching Puerto Rico. But Delta Airlines flight 431 from JFK lands safely at San Juan airport. “Our meteorology team is the best in the business,”...
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Safety is being compromised

Traditional airlines at both sides of the Atlantic Ocean are defending themselves against low cost carriers by introducing basic economy fares. This is something that passengers have called down upon themselves. Low cost carriers’ trick is to raise the illusion of low fares by ‘unbundling,’ which is airline speak for charging separately for everything that an airline can dream up. In the 2000s the ticket price included a checked bag, a carry-on, a seat reservation and something to eat and drink. This has changed very much. Low cost carriers rapidly gained market share by...
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The Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates air transportation of pets and requires airlines to follow the guidelines. For example, animals must be transported in pet carriers big enough to allow the animal to stand, turn around and lie down comfortably. Travelers may wish they were pets or that there would be similar regulations for airline passengers. Airlines' obsession with short term profits has led them to install ever smaller seats and reducing the pitch (the distance between rows). As a result, the number of seats in a plane and, thus,...
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