Travel group promoting Trusted Traveler Program

Trusted Traveler ProgramShould frequent flyers and business travelers get through airports faster than everybody else? Yes! says the U.S. Travel Association who is trying to convince lawmakers that big airport users need special attention.

“Travelers encounter much hassle at our nation’s airports, and it’s time for Congress to act,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “A one size fits all approach to security is inefficient. If Congress implements a trusted traveler program, we’ll see more Americans traveling – and that will create more American jobs.

Called the Trusted Traveler program, the idea is to have those who go travel extensively go through an extensive background check and basically be certified safe to fly. At the airport, the Trusted Traveler would zip through security and have a minimum of checks.

The “Be Trusted” campaign is a national grassroots campaign advocating Congressional implementation of a trusted traveler program. The campaign will include advertisements in newspapers and airports, social media, events at airports, an advocacy website and toll-free number to connect travelers directly with members of Congress, and an online petition.

Flickr photo by redjar

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TSA causes two international incidents by searching Indian diplomats

tsa, TSAIt seems we common folk aren’t the only ones who find TSA‘s security checks intrusive. Transportation Security Administration officials have recently caused not one but two international incidents with India by searching diplomats.

India’s ambassador to the U.S. Meera Shankar got frisked at an airport on December 4. She was pulled out of the line because she had brown skin and was wearing a sari in a random search. When she revealed she was a diplomat, security officials were unimpressed and frisked her anyway.

Now it turns out this wasn’t the first incident, the BBC reports. Two weeks ago India’s UN envoy, Hardeep Puri , who is Sikh, was asked to remove his turban. Sikh men think it is immodest to remove their turbans in public. Once again, the diplomat mentioned his special status and was ignored. He was taken into a holding room so the turban could be checked for whatever it was the TSA thought he was hiding in there.

Hey, at least they didn’t have to go through a body scanner like Baywatch actress Donna D’Errico.

Body scanners used as porn by airport security

It had to happen sooner or later.

The Nigerian newspaper This Day has reported that security officials at Lagos airport are getting their jollies by watching female passengers go through a full-body scanner.

Nigerian investigative reporters visited the airport during a slow period when security officials had time to spare. The journalists found some of them hanging around the scanner display. Since the scanner blurs the face in an attempt to give anonymity, the officers were hurrying over to the line to peek at the passengers before going back to the scanner to check out their favorites.

The scanner was installed after the failed attack by underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who was from Lagos, yet technicians have revealed a full-body scan wouldn’t have caught him. An Israeli security expert who helped plan security at Israel’s super-strict Ben Gurion Airport says body scanners don’t work. Israeli airports don’t use the device.

Many Nigerians feel it is against their religion to expose themselves to a stranger, while others fear the effects of radiation. The investigative journalists witnessed passengers objecting to go through the scanner until security turned off one of the metal detectors, giving them the choice of using the full-body scanner or waiting in a longer line.