Monthly Archives

Monthly Archives for May 2003.

A routine TSA story, or the makings of a scandal?

The TSA selected a passenger for secondary screening prior to departure in Baltimore. He didn’t wait for them to finish. He took his carryon and left, boarded his flight, and took off for Pittsburgh. The TSA did a “reverse screening” of all of the deplaning passengers in Pittsburgh. 100 passengers were delayed for two hours. They checked each person leaving the plane, ostensibly because the passenger might have passed whatever they thought he may have had off to somebody else. (Of course, it could have been passed to anyone else in the terminal boarding any other flight — shouldn’t they have evacuated the whole Baltimore airport?) The curious thing is that the TSA procedures permitted the passenger to walk away. But they knew which flight he was on. But they didn’t send anyone to that…

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Marriott Discounts

When booking a Marriott hotel room online, you have the opportunity to enter a discount code in the “Corporate/Promotional” box. Here are several to try — some may work out way and others not so well with any given property and date. M11 = Marriott Rewards special BOG = Buy One get One Free at Springhill Suites WCT = Washington DC Tourism Coalition TZO = Travel Zoo Special offer rate W8S = Go West rate WSAS = Southwest $10 off and breakfast for 2 SOWK = 15% off Arizona and California N8R = Eastern hotels-$50 bonus bucks for up to 2 nights(certain properties only) LVU = Love You HON = Honeymoon PKF = Park and Fly PKG = Special rate packages available (escape,honeymoon,parking etc) PES = Escape Packages I24 = Renaissance hotels CUE = Washington…

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Ask for the government rate

Radisson is extending government rates to families of U.S. military personnel, families of civilian government employees, and families of veterans through December 30th. This offer is valid at Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and Park Inn. Of course, there’s no way for them to tell whether you’re really related or not. And after all, we’re just one big happy family in this great land of ours, no?

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Iraq’s National Carrier to Fly Again

Noone appears to be in charge, and the U.S. military still occupies it’s home airports, but Iraq Airways plans to resume service. What was once a prominent Middle Eastern airline started fading with the Iran-Iraq war, and then Just before the 1991 Gulf War, the airline’s 15 Boeings were flown to Jordan, Iran and Tunisia. The airline has not been able to retrieve all of them, and Baghdad claimed Iran’s national carrier put some of those planes into its own fleet. Iraqi Airways was grounded for several years after the war because of U.N. sanctions that made procuring spare parts impossible. The company’s in-flight catering department sold meals and pastries at Baghdad supermarkets to raise money. The airline resumed limited domestic service in the mid-1990s when spare parts again became available under the oil-for-food program.…

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Repossession or something else?

Plane disappears after takeoff A BOEING 727 passenger jet, grounded at Luanda airport a year ago, has disappeared after a mysterious unauthorised take-off, Angola state radio reported today. The plane, chartered by the Angolan airline Airangol, was grounded after being banned from overflying Angolan territory on account of a series of irregularities, said Angola civil aviation director Helder Preza. A witness to the plane’s departure on Sunday, airport employee Luis Lopes, said he saw a white man start the empty plane and then take off after a few dangerous land manoeuvres.

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But Only the Federal Government Could Protect Us?

The hiring practices of the Transportation Security Administration, which permitted the employment of screeners with criminal histories, is being probed.That’s a start, but it hardly begins to address the fundamental cultural issues affecting the agency. I’ve written at great length in the past about absurd practices and violations of rights that are rampant in the federal ‘security’ operation.A new problem I hadn’t previously read about, though, is that TSA screeners aren’t particularly considerate of passengers with disabilities, either: Screeners have been accused of forcing passengers to remove prosthetic limbs, lifting them out of wheelchairs or separating blind travelers from their guide dogs. Meanwhile, when it comes to an issue involving real security concerns — whether to arm pilots — the TSA has missed a congressionally mandated deadline for a decision on stun guns in the…

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