The TSA Learns its Procedures Via Rumor, Pay for Lounge Access, and Earn Hotel Bonuses (Bits ‘n Pieces for January 13, 2014)

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • A former TSA supervisor takes to reddit and thousands of comments ensue. (HT: Reid)

    There was very little new or enlightening, but this — though obvious — was a surprising admission:

    The basic SOP that most officers have to know is several hundred pages long; few of them have actually read the whole thing and are essentially relying on word of mouth.

  • Here’s a slightly more emotional reaction to Delta’s lounge access policy changes than I had offered.

  • How to put awards on a brief hold at This only works for creating itineraries that can be booked online.

  • The current major hotel chain promos you should register for.

  • US airlines will generally offer paid day passes to their lounges in addition to membership and access to international business and first class passengers and top elites flying internationally. It’s far less common for international airlines to offer paid access, though the new Saudia lounge at Washington Dulles does. Air France KLM is experimenting with paid day passes in Bangkok. This could become more common around the world. (HT: Milepoint)

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. Pretty reasonable TSA guy compared with my experience. His response on how to reform the TSA:

    TSA likes to solve problems with new “stuff.” You’ll notice that things like the backscatter machines and “puffers” didn’t last long, but cost hundreds of millions. Also, the average screener is very good at finding dangerous items; they’re not very good at finding dangerous people. I’d scale back much of the newer technology, add better training on warning signs when dealing with people, and pour more money into law enforcement and intel.

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