The Biggest Domestic Travel Coronavirus Threat At Airports May Be The Security Checkpoint

News notes from around the interweb:

  • Shawn Coomer says he got Hyatt to extend his top tier status through February 2022 just by asking. So I asked, but they did not extend mine.

    View From The Hyatt Regency Jersey City

  • 3 TSA screeners at San Jose airport tested positive for COVID-19 that’s not good, maybe fewer pat downs at the airport for all of our sakes?

    People have to queue together at the security checkpoint. Screeners come into contact with myriad passengers. In my experience they do not change their gloves nearly often enough, nor wash their hands frequently on shift. It’s no surprise screeners working in an area with a concentration of cases would test positive for the virus. I suppose one bit of good news is lines may be much shorter than usual due to fewer passengers.

  • U.S. Bank launching two new cards March 30

  • The military is buying Boeing refueling planes that don’t work. By the way, the story gets worse than this:

    [T]he Pentagon earmarked $2.85 billion in the 2020 budget for 15 Boeing aircraft it can’t use — while retiring 29 refueling tankers that still work fine to free up resources for the new planes.

    …From the beginning, the tanker replacement program has been beset by scandal. Back in 2003, observers raised eyebrows when the Air Force stated it would lease 100 767-based tankers from Boeing instead of buying them outright, as is the standard practice. Then it emerged civilian Air Force official Darleen Druyun had been essentially working for Boeing from the inside in exchange for a high-paying job with the company. The suspicious leasing arrangement was axed, while Druyun and Boeing’s chief financial officer were convicted of corruption.

  • If this American Airlines claim were true the flight attendant’s union wouldn’t have just won arbitration over the sick policy which penalized employees for taking banked sick time. (And by the way the policy of awarding points or demerits for taking sick days doesn’t just apply to flight attendants.)

  • What American Airlines is telling employees about coronavirus, an interview with their contract Chief Medical Officer.

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. US Airlines have been signing MOU’s with unionized
    AFA flight attendants this week, allowing for management coded leave with pay protection and no points for anyone who must remain in quarantine due to COVID-19. This is airline and union specific, but it is likely American has a similar MOU in place like AFA. FA’s do not need to worry about sick points right now. Airlines are serious about making sick flight attendants stay home.

  2. At airports all over the world, security staff put their gloved hands into hand carry. They don’t change those gloves ( at least I’ve never seen it), so whatever is picked up in one bag, eg, used tissue, could easily be transferred to the next, and next. Recently, in Bali, I asked for the guy to change his gloves. He did without complaint,
    The worst in my experience is in Melbourne ( Australia). The private contractor decided to save money by pre-screening 6 or 7 passengers in a group: meaning they dragged a swab across the shoes, clothes, inside bags of 1, and then moved through the group without changing it. Totally gross, and a recipe for cross-infection/contamination,but it was the standard until the end of last month.

  3. If the TSA stopped with its passenger ID and boarding pass checks, the chances of passengers getting this virus from TSA screeners would drop tremendously. These TSA ID/boarding pass checks for domestic flights should be eliminated for many reasons, including for the health risk vector that comes from the TSA’s “travel document check” at airports across the country.

    The TSA’s passenger ID and boarding pass checks are completely unnecessary for the TSA to search for and stop prohibited weapons, explosives and incendiaries, so the TSA should quit this ID and boarding pass checking nonsense and make America safer that way.

  4. The airport screener in Adelaide, Australia also swabed several people in a group with the same swab. We in the group were jokingly wondering, what if the swab tests positive for whatever they were testing for, who are they going to pull aside?

  5. GUWonder is spot on with regard to the document check. It’s only marginally more useful than, say, my coworker, who’s the most useless moron, or my manager, who has no backbone and won’t fire the moron.

  6. I worked with them too: “…coworker, who’s the most useless moron, or my manager, who has no backbone and won’t fire the moron.”

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