Lawyers Travel's weekly client e-newsletter, the Informed Traveler, keeps readers updated on travel industry news and trends.
Following is a recap of April's Top 5 (most clicked by Lawyers Travel's clients) e-newsletter stories.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is deploying over 300 new 3D security scanners nationwide, reports USA Today. The new 3D technology allows TSA officers to rotate images digitally to examine an item without unpacking a bag, which in turn allows travelers to keep laptops, liquids and other materials inside their carry-on bags when passing through security. The TSA began testing the 3D scanners in Boston and Phoenix in 2017 and has since expanded to 12 additional locations. The initial deployment of new systems is expected to begin in summer 2019 and be completed in 2020.
Delta Air Lines is reducing seat recline by half on 62 of its Airbus A320s planes that often fly business routes shorter than two hours in an effort to boost customer satisfaction, reports Skift. Delta states the change is because passengers want more space to watch TV, use the internet and eat and drink. The first airplane will start flying this weekend, with the rest coming within the next two months. Seats in economy class, including extra-legroom seats, will recline two inches, down from four. In first class, seats will go from more than five inches of recline to roughly three and a half.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended nine actions to improve Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security and screening after reviewing test data from the past three years, reports Transportation Today. GAO reviewed how TSA tests are risk-informed, the quality of information produced from such tests and how TSA uses test results to address security vulnerabilities. The TSA is constantly working to identify screening issues, and while covert tests have improved, the GAO attests that operations could be bettered.
American Airlines is extending their cancellation of all Boeing 737 Max 8 flights into June, a move that will impact 90 flights a day, reports USA Today. American said proactively cancelling those flights will give them more time and more flight choices to rebook affected passengers, helping to reduce last-minute flight cancellations. The airline also said it will notify affected passengers by phone or email, and travelers whose flights are cancelled will be eligible for a refund if they don't want to rebook.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is working toward implementation of biometric exit technology to cover more than 97% of departing commercial air travelers within the next four years, reports Travel Weekly. As of September 2018, 15 U.S. airports were using facial-recognition technology to confirm travelers' identities as they leave the country. To date, CBP has used the facial-recognition system on more than 2 million travelers on more than 15,000 flights; DHS says the biometric system has a match rate of 98%. As a result of this success, it says CBP has received "many commitment letters from airport authorities and/or air carriers supporting biometric exit operations."