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Airline Ticketing Will Include Nonbinary Gender Option

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/19/2019, 3:30 PM

The major U.S. airlines are changing their online ticketing sites so that passengers can identify gender with options other than male and female.  According to the Associated Press, American, Delta, United, Southwest, Alaska, and JetBlue are all working on introducing selections such as "undisclosed," "unspecified," or "Mx.," a non-gendered alternative to Mr. or Ms.  Industry trade group Airlines...

What to Do About TSA Delays Caused by Government Shutdown

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/14/2019, 12:00 PM

The U.S. government's partial shutdown, now in its fourth smash week, has started to have a negative impact on airport security lines.  Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners aren't being paid during this month-long-and-counting lapse in federal productivity and rationality. On Friday, those workers missed their first paychecks since the shutdown began on December 22. As an a...

TSA to Make You Remove Snacks from Your Carry-On—Except When It Won't

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/29/2018, 3:00 PM

The next time you go through airport security, you could be asked to remove all food from your carry-on luggage, along with all the other stuff that gets removed—your shoes, your laptop, and, should you be selected for an invasive pat-down, your dignity.  Then again, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) might let you keep that Snickers bar or bag of Cheetos in your bag as it slides al...

Our Top Tips for Surviving Holiday Air Travel this Year

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 12/13/2017, 2:45 PM

The airlines are expecting 51 million passengers to fly in United States in the final two weeks of December, a figure that’s up 3% from last year’s record number. Break it down and that means some 80,000 more passengers a day than fly during an average day during the rest of the year. If you will be among the masses, you'll want to carefully strategize. Here are our suggestions:   Check in 2...

More Complex Screening Begins for U.S. Passengers

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/25/2017, 12:00 AM

You might remember that last spring, several international airlines, mostly from predominantly Muslim countries, were banned from allowing laptops in passenger cabins. That, and the uneven application of the policy across airlines, caused a diplomatic furor, and some carriers even curtailed service to the United States. In response, the U.S. government reversed the requirement but dictated new secu...

Now Is the Best Time to Apply for or Renew a U.S. Passport, Says State Department

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/26/2017, 9:00 PM

If you need to apply for or renew a U.S. passport, the best time to do so is right now, according to the U.S. State Department. Processing times are shortest between September and December, the agency says, and longest (up to six weeks) from January to the high season of summer travel. Even if your passport isn't set to expire before the end of the year, you might still need to renew—many countri...

Trump Wants TSA Cuts to Pay for Immigration Crackdown

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/09/2017, 5:00 AM

President Donald Trump's proposed crackdown on undocumented immigrants could wind up leading to more headaches at airports.  According to internal documents reviewed by Politico, the administration wants to pay for more border agents and the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in part by significantly cutting the budgets of the Coast Guard (by 14%), the Transportation Secur...

TSA Introducing More Invasive Pat-Downs at Airports

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/08/2017, 5:00 AM

The Transportation Security Administration is adopting a new, more "comprehensive" (read: invasive) pat-down procedure at the nation's airports.  How comprehensive? The agency is warning local police departments that they may receive an increase in allegations of inappropriate touching against TSA agents.  The new, more rigorous friskings will be given to those passengers chosen fo...

TSA May Soon Stop Accepting Driver’s Licenses from These Nine States

By Jessica Monsell

Posted on 02/16/2017, 5:00 AM

Some airline passengers may be in for a rude awakening next January if they live in one of the nine states where driver’s licenses do not comply with the REAL ID Act, a federal mandate to establish minimum security standards for state-issued IDs. Starting in January 2018, non-compliant driver’s licenses from Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carol...

Two New Reasons to Join TSA PreCheck

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/03/2017, 5:00 AM

There are several good reasons for enrolling in the Transportation Security Administration's PreCheck program.  If accepted, you get to take advantage of an expedited screening process at airports, during which you don't have to remove your shoes, belt, or jacket, and you can keep your laptop in its bag. Recently, two more incentives have been added:  First, 11 airlines serving mor...

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