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For all travelers, it seems the fumbled plot to blow up some device in an airliner a few days ago has again created widespread hysteria, and in the wake of that you may want to pay close attention to what the airlines are doing. I need to travel in a few days and BA is now saying to only bring 1 piece of hand luggage, and in the air restrictions may apply to the use of any electronic device (book readers, ipods, etc) during the whole flight.

 

FYI,

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Yes, I'm dreading this one. Last time it was liquids - perhaps this time it will be no more electronic devices carried on board :-( Ugh.

 

Regards,

James

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I was just sent an email by my airline regarding the new rules. I'm leaving my cameras behind in Asia when I go back home.

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Please remove your clothes and place them in the basket then proceed to the body cavity search zone...bend over and grab your ankles!

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Total Recall is closer than you think :)

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I read this morning that another proposal is to require all passengers to remain in their seats for the last hour of the flight. This means on a 90 minute flight, where you're supposed to stay seated while they climb to altitude, you won't be able to get up at all! Oh, and please put on this straitjacket when you board...

 

Phil

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How about a WETPIXEL fractional ownership jet? Come on Eric, sell some more t-shirts and make it happen!

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This is what Alaska Airlines has to say (just in time for the Olympics! When one goes to the US (at least for Seattle flights) from Vancouver one goes through US customs before getting on the plane - I have been through this a few times but have not noticed if this operation has anything to do with Transport Canada, mentioned below):

 

Travel Advisory

New International Security Directive

 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued a new security directive affecting flights departing international locations arriving in the United States. For Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air passengers this affects flights coming from Canada or Mexico into the United States.

 

Passengers traveling from Canada or Mexico should arrive at the airport a minimum of 2 hours before departure in order to help with the additional security measures.

 

* Additional Searches: All passengers flying into the United States will be searched at the departure gate, in addition to normal screening at security checkpoints.

* Carry-on Luggage: From Canada or Mexico, carry-on luggage will also be searched at the departure gate. Transport Canada has limited the number of carry-on luggage to one (1) through the security checkpoint for passengers traveling from Canada to the United States. To minimize boarding delays, passengers are encouraged to check all their luggage. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air will waive baggage fees for items checked as baggage that the passenger otherwise would have taken aboard as carry-on baggage from Canada or Mexico.

* Additional Inflight Security: Added security measures while on the international flights are also being put into effect.

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I looks like a total FUBAR in Amsterdam and with US security. This mullet was on a watch list and still managed to enter the US several times. May be they needed a Dutch shepard to stick its nose up his butt to sniff for PETN. There is really no way to completly protect an air line. Sadly, as in war, we always reacting in terms of the last one.

Bob (who had rather fly than swim to Asia)

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I flew today from Tucson through Denver to Kansa City. I was expecting a painful security hassle. Instead we zoomed through. They even informed me that there is no longer any need to keep your boarding pass available when you go through the metal detector. The initial check when you show your ID is enough. 30 minutes from the house to the gate. I wouldn't try that if I was coming in from Amsterdam.

 

Good luck if you're flying international for a while.

 

Cheers,

Steve

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It will be interesting to see what additional security measures will be on American Airlines for the flight I will be taking from Grand Cayman to Miami in a couple weeks. I'll be on my way back from Alex Mustard's UW Photography Workshop.

 

I wonder how many terrorists fly from Grand Cayman into the US? :)

 

Ellen

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All this nonsense caused by one more extemist who was on the terrorist list yet was given a visa by the Americans. Incompetance or ???? In any case the security procedures at Amsterdam have always been strict and obviously weren't good enough. Now they'll have a show trial and clamp down on the "normal" folk and we'll let a few more freedoms slip away.. Air travel has long been unpleasant, the airlines just keep making it worse. Can't wait to retire to someplace good to dive and stop all this airline travel torture. Just grit my teeth and bend over!

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I wonder how many terrorists fly from Grand Cayman into the US? :)

 

Ellen

Most all of them, especially the grandmothers and toddlers.

 

It is not possible to search your way to 100% security. The current security strategy is ineffective. It can only become effective with complete body and baggage search, which is impractical. The most effective approach is people screening instead of property screening. But people screening isn't, nor can it be effective in its current form.

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Be careful walking through security without shoes on. A couple weeks ago a man filed a lawsuit against the Buffalo International Airport (New York) becouse two years ago he cut his foot on some glass while he had his shoes off. He's asking for $500,000 in damages. Kind of ironic, the people who are there to protect you are the ones you have to fear!

Mike

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Cor

I think BackScatter X-Rays are already in TSA hands. But I doubt they'll get approval for machines powerful enough to see my endoskeletal image as I pass security. Think of all the cancer lawsuits!

Then again if they have to scan every single passenger with a MMW or X-ray body scan, then I shudder to think of how long it'll take to board an A380 plane!

These "measures" are mostly done to placate and calm the public. Taking away potty privileges, blankets and pillows and inflight entertainment in the last hour of flight is not about effectiveness. There will never be a 100% effective plan. Do people really think any measures from profiling to body scans will remove all risk? Depending on which measurements you use, flying is still safer than driving. Yet we all go on the highway like it's back in the womb safe. There are risks involved in EVERYTHING we do. Every system that involves having humans work it is inherently flawed. Umar got through despite being on a watch list because of human error. The security system works well enough. People just have to accept there are risks involved in living.

Anyhow, with emissions cutting being all the rage, perhaps flying less is a good thing :)

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I flew today from Tucson through Denver to Kansa City. I was expecting a painful security hassle. Instead we zoomed through. They even informed me that there is no longer any need to keep your boarding pass available when you go through the metal detector. The initial check when you show your ID is enough. 30 minutes from the house to the gate. I wouldn't try that if I was coming in from Amsterdam.

 

Good luck if you're flying international for a while.

 

Cheers,

Steve

I live in the Kansas CIty area. You did not say you were coming so I failed to bake a cake. Of course, I am in Cleveland now visiting relatives. Ships passing in the night...

If you are still in the KC area on 12/31 or later, I could buy you a blvd beer...

Dave

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Yesterday Delta/Northwest was only allowing purses to be carried on board flights into the US from Canada, claiming a Transport Canada restriction. No amount of protesting could get my laptop bag classified as a man purse, so I had to check it. United at the same airport was allowing 1 carry on per person. Delta allowed you to carry on laptops by themselves, just no bags to speed security screening. No electronics were permitted to be used during the entire flight.

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WTH? No man bag? That's sexist! Why do women get a bag and not men? ACLU where are you?

In a few months it'll all calm down and then it'll get back to semi-normalcy I hope!

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Yesterday Delta/Northwest was only allowing purses to be carried on board flights into the US from Canada, claiming a Transport Canada restriction. No amount of protesting could get my laptop bag classified as a man purse, so I had to check it. United at the same airport was allowing 1 carry on per person. Delta allowed you to carry on laptops by themselves, just no bags to speed security screening. No electronics were permitted to be used during the entire flight.

 

what about camera bags?

 

(This just makes the people stealing all checked luggage have a bigger pool of nice items to steal.)

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Yesterday Delta/Northwest was only allowing purses to be carried on board flights into the US from Canada, claiming a Transport Canada restriction. No amount of protesting could get my laptop bag classified as a man purse, so I had to check it. United at the same airport was allowing 1 carry on per person. Delta allowed you to carry on laptops by themselves, just no bags to speed security screening. No electronics were permitted to be used during the entire flight.

 

 

Ryan,

 

How do you check a laptop without it getting trashed? Sounds like I need to prepare myself to check in my photo equip carry-on just in case this thing turns uglier. Do you have any bag recommendations or should I just pack a Pelican Case and hope to hell I have equipment to shoot with when I get to my destination?

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

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I'm with you Drew. The checkin people wouldn't go for laptop purse.

 

I think this was a Canada specific policy, and to a degree was specific to Detla/Northwest (although all airlines were imposing some level of restriction). All of the travelers I saw in Miami and Minneapolis had their usual overstuffed roll aboard and overflowing shopping bags.

 

Leaving Canada, they required camera bags to be checked. I was able to carry on my laptop, but had to check its bag.

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Depending on which measurements you use, flying is still safer than driving. Yet we all go on the highway like it's back in the womb safe.

 

Nate Silver did some analysis on this, and came up with the chance of any given plane being targeted by terrorists was 1 in 16.5 million, and 1/3 of terrorist attacks on planes in the last decade have failed to injure anybody other than one terrorist who burned his own groin.

 

Is there any other part of our lives in which we devote so much effort, time and money to reducing the risk of a 1 in 17 million chance?

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From the front page article:

 

Following the December 25 incident on Northwest airlines, TSA has tightened security measures for travelers, which means that travelers should arrive at airports earlier for increased security checks. In addition, some countries have instituted carry-on baggage policy changes. Although not all airlines have posted updated carry-on baggage policies, examples of new security regulations can be found on both United Airlines' and American Airlines' websites:

 

- United Airlines new security measures

- American Airlines new security measures

 

Specifically, it seems that flights to the United States from Amsterdam, Brussels, London, and Canada have changed policies that would make it difficult for photographers or passengers carrying sensitive or fragile equipment to travel. Furthermore, on some flights, passengers cannot get up or have anything in their laps during the last hour of the flight.

 

The United and American security sites seem to agree on the following security changes:

 

For travel from all foreign locations to the United States:

 

- new security measures (more screening)

 

For travel from Amsterdam, Netherlands, from Brussels, Belgium, or from London, England to the United States starting Dec 30 or 31, 2009

 

- one carry-on bag only

 

For travel from Canada to the United States starting Dec 28, 2009

 

- no carry-on baggage that customers might have access to during flight, with some exceptions, including small purses, cameras, coats, laptops, medical supplies, musical instruments, and more

 

We'd love to hear from you if you have seen any changes in airline security policies that would affect traveling for SCUBA diving or for underwater photography.

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This just reinforces my resolution to avoid travel to or through the United States. They have every right to react to the last scare, just as I have to avoid their country. Instead of concentaring on the people who are the problem (and you know who I mean) they are forcing the rest of us to suffer. God save us from political correctness. How about targeting the potential trouble makers (yes, I'm talking about profiling!) and leave those of us who don't fit the profile alone. I don't see too many western diver terrorits!

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How about targeting the potential trouble makers (yes, I'm talking about profiling!) and leave those of us who don't fit the profile alone. I don't see too many western diver terrorits!

The latest attempt was by a Nigerian man. That does not fit what most people consider to be the "profile." Or, are you just talking about targeting all non-whites?

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