What’s New With the TSA?

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The events surrounding the Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on December 25, 2009 have prompted the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to add additional screening and security measures for passengers traveling both domestically and internationally.

So what does this mean for our members who are ramping up for their winter and spring travels? Hopefully it means increasing security while minimizing the impact on travelers. While I don’t believe you can truly have your cake and eat it too, the TSA has placed some additional measures which I’ll detail below.

The TSA has instituted a “Layered” approach to security to allow them to mobilize resources as needed. They are stating that they have the ability to quickly implement additional screening measures including explosive detection teams, gate screening, law enforcement officers and behavior detection measures – both seen and unseen.

The TSA has also issued a directive for additional security measures prior to departure on international flights to the United States. Passengers on these flights will see delays with additional security measures including pat-downs and bag searches. During the flight, passengers may also be directed to stow all personal items and remain seated during portions of the flight including the last hour prior to landing.

As travelers we need to obviously allow for more time at the airport for both domestic travel and allow for an additional hour for international travel. Expect to have your privacy barriers pushed a bit and most of all; don’t become complacent during your travels! The safety measures implemented by the TSA are not the only things we have to rely on. Remember that safety is everyone’s responsibility. If not for a few alert and aware passengers the outcome of December 25th, 2009 might have been much different.

Here are some informative links for our members to educate themselves on the new developments and procedures:

http://www.tsa.gov/index.shtm

The TSA Travel Assistant: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/screening/index.shtm

Travel safe and travel smart!

John Gobbels, Medjet Vice President/COO