How To Make Money At Airport Security [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • He’s not Michael Vick but he did stay at a Hilton brand property last night

  • United elites earn 15,000 miles joining CLEAR through end of the month. Elites and cobrand cardmembers pay $109 for a year, so the miles are worth more than the cost for a year of expedited security. And if you pay with your Amex Platinum you get a statement credit that covers the cost (along with the cost of adding a spouse to your account).

  • Alaska considers ending compliance with REAL ID. A lot of Alaskans don’t have drivers licenses to begin with, don’t use roads much where they’re needed in practice, but do wind up having to fly. Surely the feds will bully them sufficiently into compliance.

  • JetBlue lacked staff to disembark stranded passengers off airplane The police were even called to rescue passengers

  • We gave the important job of pipeline security to the bunglingest of bungling agencies, the TSA, and they’re screwing it up (surprise)

    Oil and gas pipeline operators say the TSA’s cyber regulations are full of unwieldy or baffling requirements that could actually jeopardize pipeline safety and fuel supplies. …“In every sense, TSA has screwed this up,” said Robert M. Lee, the CEO of Dragos, a cybersecurity firm that works with critical infrastructure companies. “It is a giant cluster and in many ways is a perfect example of what not to do with a regulatory process.”

    …Many of the TSA’s new requirements are based on protections for personal computers, not pipeline control systems, frustrating companies that aren’t sure how to comply with them. Other rules could require months or even years of painstaking upgrades that could interrupt pipeline operations.

  • Delta gives 4% pay raise to non-union workers which is most non-pilots at the airline. meanwhile Kenya Airways is imposing pay cuts because its government bailout has been delayed.

  • Aeromexico exits Chapter 11

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] The 10% discount on coach saver awards will be valuable, depending on how you spend United miles. This is for coach awards only booked at the saver level. The bonus for joining CLEAR is great, since I’m finding the security shortcut indispensable in my travels, though through the end of March 2022 there’s also a 15,000 United mile offer with CLEAR. […]


  1. An interesting aside in the Jet Blue article is that Goldman Sachs wants to take over Jet Blue’s credit card operations! Sacre blue!

  2. “A lot of Alaskans don’t have drivers licenses to begin with…”

    Interesting. With so many states pushing for in-person voting and that all voters having ID’S, one doesn’t hear that so many Alaskans will end up bring disenfranchised by that movement.

  3. As an airline captain told me, a common abbreviation in the industry is “TSA = Thousands Standing Around.” Actually I found a way to make money with the Agency. Dropping a knapsack off the belt I bent down to pick it up and found a lot of loose change on the floor, which I also scooped up. That made the experience worthwhile (not). Seriously this is the problem with putting a big clumsy institution in charge of something it doesn’t know anything about. After 9/11 the DHS had these professionals wearing suits and ties while on flights to vacation spots. You can imagine how they stood out. Eventually somebody figured out this wasn’t so smart.

  4. I’m always amused by the people who think that the people who run the DMV should also run our healthcare system.

    When I worked for the federal government, those of us who were competent used to say that they should fire worst two-thirds of the existing workers, double the salary of the remaining one-third, and get more done for one-third less. The only flaw with that idea was identifying the best one-third, because it sure wasn’t by performance evaluations – there is only one way to get rid of a poor worker in the federal government and that’s to promote them out, so the poorest workers get the highest evaluations to make them promotable.

  5. “The Feds”? Channeling your inner Al Capone, Gary?

    Also, what would you suggest that Alaskans use as a valid ID? A Post-It note from mom attesting that the holder’s name really is JohnSmith? Biometric methods certainly aren’t any more privacy-friendly so presumably scratch that choice. I suppose a passport would work fine but they already do so no change there. I truly don’t mind you criticizing something as long as you have some viable alternative. You’ve certainly proven time and again that you have the analytical ability to argue even a tough position. Taking cheap shots, though, isn’t your style and frankly I like that about your writing.

  6. Current AK “Real ID” licenses and state identification cards are not technically federal “REAL ID’s” but are instead “Real ID Compliant”. I have assumed this was AK’s device to meet fed requirements but still say we resist federal intervention. Federal “Real ID” requirements (and Alaska law) treat current AK “Real ID-Compliant” Drivers Licenses and AK “Real ID-compliant” state ID cards as equal for all federal and state purposes. So driving or no is not the issue. But there are pervasive rural-remote difficulties for very off-grid/small village Alaskans to meet fed and state requirements for “Real ID” state cards. I am not rural and have an executive management background and still had to go back to DMV twice to jump through the hoops for my “Real ID-compliant” (yes it has a star) Alaska driver’s license.

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