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Abracadabra

Air travel hysteria finally settling down?

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TSA may let non-fliers go to gates

 

The Transportation Security Administration is testing whether it can ease a post-9/11 policy that bars people from meeting relatives and friends at airports as they come off flights.

 

A test program at Dallas/Fort Worth and Detroit airports could pave the way for other airports to allow non-travelers through checkpoints to meet passengers or shop at stores and restaurants.

 

"There are a lot of airports that would like people without boarding passes to have access to concessions," said Michael Conway, a spokesman for Detroit Metro Airport, which starts its test next week. Dallas' test started last week.

 

The TSA began requiring boarding passes at checkpoints after it took over airport security in 2002 — largely to reduce the number of people getting screened and ease lines, said Steve Martin of the Airports Council International.

 

Letting non-travelers back in security lines "adds to the congestion and the difficulty of screening," said aviation security consultant Billie Vincent.

 

The TSA says it won't waive boarding-pass requirements if it would lengthen lines or weaken security, and notes that the test is small. Only guests at hotels inside the Dallas and Detroit airport terminals can go through security without boarding passes, and they must be checked against terrorist watch lists.

 

"We are interested to evaluate how limited expansion. .. would work," TSA spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said.

 

Pittsburgh International Airport is watching. The TSA blocked the airport's 2003 bid to let non-passengers beyond checkpoints. If TSA's pilot program "is a success," airport spokeswoman JoAnn Jenny said, "we might be able to persuade them to let us try it with the public."

 

Steven Brill, whose company Verified Identity Pass speeds up security for travelers who pass background checks, said his non-flying customers also should be allowed through checkpoints. The TSA pilot "establishes the concept that people who aren't boarding planes can go through and use the shops," Brill said.

 

Airlines currently can give airline club members and parents of young children "gate passes" that allow them through checkpoints.

 

The Dallas and Detroit airports say their waiver will let people at the airports' terminal hotels patronize dozens of shops and restaurants beyond security checkpoints. That helps attract tourists and conferences, said Jim Crites of the Dallas airport.

 

"For airports, it provides additional non-aeronautical revenue and passenger service," said aviation consultant Stephen Van Beek.

 

Martin of the Airports Council doesn't expect a major expansion of the test program because airports fear that non-travelers would back up security lines.

 

"I don't think we're going back to where it was" before 9/11, Martin said.

 

source

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this makes no sense to me, but perhaps I'm missing somthing here. in all canadian airports the only stores or amenities past the security gate are so basic that I dont see why anybody would care. out in the lobby where the ticket desks are they have bookstores, convenience stores, fast food, etc. the only stuff past the security is usually just a duplicate of what was out in the main lobby. I seem to remember seattle being the same way. I know JFK only had amenities past the security area, but I assumed that was because I was in the shitty older terminal.

 

is this not the case everywhere else?

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they didn't do an iris scan on me when I was flying out to Egypt, but I can assume the security will be tougher coming back in.

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They do iris scans now?

 

yes.

when you arrive at jfk's customs as a foreigner (I'm a EU citizen), you have your eyes scanned off a little camera on the side of the booth where they check your passports.

you also have to have your index finger on both hands scanned onto a little board.

I've had this done 4 or 5 times now, since about 2003.

I've only been to jfk recently so I don't know if it's just new york or the entire country.

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it hasnt really changed, i live 5mins from o'hare airport and plaines fly over my house every 5-10 mins. fucking jets shake the hell out of my house

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flying update, I came through Jfk airport a few days ago coming in from Saudi Arabia via Egypt with my wife and 3 kids. They had my name on a list and took us to an office with a "homeland security" seal on the wall(along with another 25 or so muslims) , so I assumed it was the homeland security office. They held me for 3 hours, questioned me and finally let us go after 3 and a half hours of being held up. Apparantly , they had to call washington to determine if my children and I were enemy combatants or not. I guess they figured we weren't eventually.

Anyway, it was no fun after a 12 hour flight with 4 kids.

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everytime I asked them why I was being held they would tell me I had to ask someone else. I would get responses like "I'm just being told to hold you" or" I need to make some phone calls before I can let you go"

one guy finally told me after 3 hours that they needed to determine with Washington that I was not an enemy combatant. I asked him what ever gave him the idea that I was an enemy combatant and he just shrugged his shoulders and said hopefully we'll get get you out of here soon.

I didn't ask what the flip side to that coin was.

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