According to an article published earlier today by Bloomberg, it appears that our friends at the TSA have revised their screening policies as it relates to ‘patting down’ passengers at security check points.
Citing a 2015 study concluding that more and more weapons are making it past screening procedures, the TSA has notified its officers to be more thorough when patting down passengers. Up until now, the TSA had 5 different approaches when it came to physical contact or screening of a passenger. With the new policy, that list of 5 has been narrowed to 1, and that ‘1’ is more comprehensive than the previous 5.
A spokesman for the TSA stated that passenger will ‘notice that the new pat-down is more involved’. The TSA also said that this will apply to airline crew. The TSA randomly screens a small number of ‘known crew’ passing through ‘crew security’, but that small percentage of crew being screened will be subject to the same new scrutiny as a passengers.
According to the article, the new strategy has been quietly rolled out in smaller airports over the past 2 weeks, and is now being rolled out to airports nationwide. No mention was made if this would affect ‘Pre Check’ or similar expedited security programs.
Turn and Cough……
In light of recent events concerning smart devices that decide to spontaneously combust through normal usage, airlines have begun bringing aboard bags designed specifically to hold electronics that have caught fire, or may be at risk of igniting.
Alaska Airlines and Virgin America have already been carrying these $1600 fire proof bags that can withstand temperatures in excess of 3500 degrees Fahrenheit. Now it appears that Delta and other US-based airlines will have at least one bag aboard each aircraft as part of their safety equipment. Delta stated that all aircraft will have the bag by the end of 2017. Not sure why it takes 14 months to outfit a fleet but at least they’re taking the initiative. I also wonder who foots the bill when a bag has to be used……
No word yet from Lufthansa or other Euro and Asian carriers, but I suspect this will become a new industry standard over the coming weeks and months.
Baker is an industry leader in fireproof bags for aviation and an example of the bags is shown below, but I use this only as an example and not a suggestion that Baker is necessarily the supplier.
The FAA issued a directive to airlines late Thursday evening warning them to not allow passengers to turn on, use, or charge Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 phones while aboard an aircraft. Apparently the phones are prone to spontaneous combustion due to a flaw in their Lithium batteries.
The directive also instructed airlines to advise passengers to not put these phones in their checked luggage due to the fire risk.
The Galaxy Note 7 was released in August and due to several instances where they’ve caught fire and destroyed property, Samsung has already issued a recall to address the issue.
So, try not to burn down your flight! 🙂