Monthly Archives

Monthly Archives for July 2011.

Imagining Future Conversations with the TSA

Ben blogs about his experience with the TSA at JFK, where every passenger was being asked for their first name and destination. As he observes, it’s silly when every passenger is being asked the same question and can hear it in advance. Even if the idea was to check for fake IDs (as though this was somehow meaningfully linked to security), the advance notice renders it useless. And of course the TSA document checkers are hardly highly trained behavioral detection officers. So he pushed back at the questions, asking whether answering was a prerequisite to flying (he was not told that it was), and offering second ID in lieu of an answer. Now, some will say why give a hard time to the frontline employees? But this is hardly harassment of those employees, and this…

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Your Locked Luggage Isn’t Safe

Via Bruce Schneier, how anyone can get into your locked luggage without your knowing: a pretty cool video demonstration after an annoying ad you have to watch at the beginning. This doesn’t surprise me in the least. I’ve never understood locking luggage, or at least believing that its contents are safe once you do. Being separated from valuables introduces vulnerabilities, entirely apart from airlines losing those valuables and the bag itself being shredded or otherwise breached through less than careful handling. Either don’t bring valuables or don’t trust airlines to transport them as checked baggage.

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The TSA’s New Union Takes Sides in the War on Water

The TSA now has a union, and oddly though unionization is new for their workers the union’s slogan is: “On Your Side From the Begining” The begining (sic) of what, exactly? Still, I expect their website to be a useful source of knowledge. For instance, they’ve posted this memo (.pdf) from the TSA’s Assistant Administrator for Security Operations in the Office of Security Operations explains that each airport’s Federal Security Director (FSD) is authorized to use their government credit cards to buy bottled water for TSA employees. Yes, that’s right. The TSA won’t let you take water through the checkpoint, but the government will buy water for its TSA employees. Clearly, the TSA and travelers are on opposite sides in the War on Water. The union wants to make sure that TSA employees get access…

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Philippine Airlines All You Can Jet Within Asia for $270 EARNS MILES

On the heels of JetBlue introducing BluePass, this year’s more limited version of ‘All You Can Jet’ where they’ll let you fly as much as you’d like from either Boston or Long Beach, Philippine Airlines is offering their own an All You Can Jet Pass (so to speak), a “Fly Asia” pass which allows unlimited travel to 12 cities for 7 weeks for only US$270 + taxes/fees. (Unlimited business class is $1070 + taxes/fees.) And it earns miles. Travel from Manila, Cebu and Davao to Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Macau, Saigon, Shanghai, Singapore, and Taipei. They’re seling the unlimited travel pass through August 7 and all outbound travel must be between August 15 and November 30, with all travel complete by December 10. Within two weeks of purchase you must redeem all your travel…

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Chase Bank’s New Secret Weapon to Keep You from Getting Big Credit Card Signup Bonuses

Chase has really stepped up its game with its targeting of offers. For years they would set up a link, send it to a group of people, and call that targeting. No matter what they said in the terms and conditions of an offer, anyone using that link would have its promotion code attached to their account and they’d receive the offer. Well, they seem to have figured out how to do their targeting much more effectively. Chase launched its standard offer for the United Explorer card, which only includes 25,000 miles up front. Additional bonus miles are available for taking additional action like adding a cardmember and for hitting an annual spending threshold on the card. Now it seems there’s a new, more lucrative offer: 50,000 bonus miles up front. But the trick is…

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I’m An Idiot Who Doesn’t Know How to Find His Own Blog URL

I never bothered to register a domain name for this blog. I started it back in 2002 on blogspot, and back then it seemed neat.blogspot.com (my original URL!) was fine. Then I transitioned over to being hosted by Randy Petersen, this blog could be found at webflyer.com/blog. Simple, right? That’s when this blog left behind its original name, “More Room Througout Coach” and took on “View from the Wing” – actually, Randy suggested the name. It then transitioned over to blogs.flyertalk.com but somehow folks always seemed to find it and I never really worried to much about how. BoardingArea started up and the blog moved again. And ever since then I’ve been typing out the URL viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com and I figured it would probably be a good idea to get a domain name but somehow never…

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A Oneworld Mega DO in the Future?

With the third Star MegaDO approaching in little more than a month, frequent flyers are talking about what a oneworld version of the event might look like. Maya Leibman, the President of American’s AAdvantage program, chimed into the discussion. Wow – how cool is this!? We can’t wait for our first (and sure to be the best) Mega DO. You definitely have to come to DFW – we’ll take you through the SOC, the flight training academy (simulators), the tower and more. And whether in DFW or Toulouse, Airbus will definitely love to show you the new aircraft we’re buying (youngest fleet in 5 years baby). She says they won’t actually give Executive Platinum to everyone who shows up (Hyatt is giving all participants to who stay in the official hotels for the event Diamond…

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List of Hyatt Properties Whose Award Categories Are Changing

Earlier today Hyatt said that they’d be announcing the hotels which would be going up and down in award category on August 4. But the list is now available: Hotel Current Category New Category Grand Hyatt Jakarta 1 2 Hyatt Place Atlanta/Downtown 1 2 Hyatt Place Chesapeake/Greenbrier 1 2 Hyatt Place Freemont/Silicon Valley 1 2 Hyatt Place San Antonio NW Med Ctr 1 2 Hyatt Regency Buffalo Hotel/Conf Ctr 1 2 Hyatt Regency Fukuoka 1 2 Hyatt Regency Kolkata 1 2       Hyatt Place Chicago/Hoffman Estates 2 1 Hyatt Place Dallas Garland 2 1 Hyatt Place Dallas/Plano 2 1 Hyatt Regency Dearborn 2 1 Hyatt Place Jacksonville Airport 2 1 Hyatt Place Richmond/Arboretum 2 1 Hyatt Place Sacramento/Roseville 2 1 Hyatt Summerfield Suites Dallas/Las Colinas 2 1       Hyatt Place College…

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Official Word on Upcoming Hyatt Gold Passport Changes

I posted this morning that changes would be coming to Hyatt Gold Passport — some benefits changes and also some properties going up in points for redemption and others going down. Now we have a few more details. Hyatt Gold Passport has announced: Guaranteed 4pm late checkout for Diamond members (but still subject to availability at resort and casino properties). This brings them up to Starwood, though we’ll see how they do in practice because Hyatt has long had difficulty meeting expectations with late checkout. No doubt this new policy will come along with training of hotel properties. In my earlier posted I noted being turned down for 2pm at the Andaz 5th Avenue back in May as a Diamond, I really appreciate Gold Passport putting 4pm in writing. This will mean a great deal…

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