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26/10/2008 – The Weekly Round Up : PDA Boarding Passes : Miles Scam : Mountainsmith Parallax : Airport Etiquette : New TSA Rules , etc, etc
I’ll kick this week’s Weekly Round Up off with exciting news regarding the future of Flying With Fish. In the near future Flying With Fish will be packing up its posts, heading over to the counter to check-in and then fly on over to BoardingArea.com Boarding Area is home to some of the blogs I regularly read. To find out more about where Flying With Fish is headed check out : 23/10/2008 – Flying With Fish Is Flying Over To Boarding Area
……….as Flying With Fish flies over to its new home I plan on creating a somewhat regular schedule of updated airline and travel related posts on Twitter. You can find sign up for the travel snippets at www.twitter.com/flyingwithfish
This week started and ended with the discussion of the gaping security flaws in the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) policies and systems. Both entries involving the TSA address the same issue, the lack of any true security in the verification of paper boarding passes.
The first of the two TSA-boarding pass related entries discusses the new allowance of Mobile Phone/PDA based boarding passes. With this new system flyers can download their boarding pass, with an encrypted bar code, and present it at the TSA security checkpoint and again at the gate. This system is now in place at 8 security checkpoints (yes, 8 airline specific check points, not 8 airports) throughout the United States. While this new system allows for secure verification of PDA based boarding passes, it does not address the significant problems related to forged paper based boarding passes. For more information, click here: 20/10/2008 – TSA Rolls Out PDA Based Boarding Pass : A Security Double Standard
The second of two TSA-boarding pass related entries points out the significant flaws in the new Department of Homeland Security & Transportation Security Administration’s new policy requiring that all passengers in the U.S., or traveling to the U.S., will be required to supply their full name and date of birth before being issues a boarding pass. This new system may sound effective, but it does nothing to address how easy it is to purchase a boarding pass using someone else’s information then forge the paper-boarding pass when checking in online. To learn more about how ineffective these new security policy is read this: 24/10/2008 – U.S. Flyers Required To Provide Full Name & Date-of-Birth In 2009
Everyday criminals devise new scams. This week I became aware of a new scam when I received an envelope in the mail containing my flight itinerary for six flights throughout Europe in early December. All the flights were marked as ‘confirmed’ and I was excited for this trip……..until I realized it was not my trip! A phone call to United Airlines lead me to find out that there is a new scam to steal frequent flyer miles. Interested in how this came works? Check here: 21/10/2008 – Mail From United Airlines That I Wish Was True : New Scam To Steal Frequent Flyer Miles
While packing to head out on the road for a few days I reached into my closet full of camera bags and pulled out a favourite do-it-all bag. I have come to describe the Parallax as a “clown car” bag because is compact in size yet never ending in what I can pack in it. To see how I packed this bag visit this entry here: 22/10/2008 – The Mountainsmith Parallax Photo Backpack : Revisited
This week I revisited a topic I like to discuss on Flying With Fish…etiquette. While I might not know which fork to use at a 5-star restaurant, and I have no idea how to properly greet members of the British Royal Family, I do know the basics of travel etiquette. One thing I see often that I cannot stand is flyers verbally abusing airline representatives at the airport. Airline representatives can have a very stressful job due to circumstances well outside their control…and you shouldn’t make their job any more stressful. To read more on airport etiquette click here: 23/10/2008 – Airport Etiquette : Gate Agents Are Not There For Your Verbal Abuse
That wraps up this past week.