Travel News: Word of the Day – Security

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Singapore Air Teams With Wellness Experts For Ultra Long Range Flights

Airlineratings reports Singapore Airlines and Canyon Ranch, one of the world’s premier integrative wellness brand, have signed a partnership to enhance ultra-long-haul travel with a focus on wellness cuisines, rest and relaxation, and well-being on the world’s longest flights.

The team of experts has developed science-based strategies for improved sleep, exercise and stretching, as well as new, nutrition-focused menus, applied specifically to Singapore Airline’s new 18 hour 45 minutes non-stop service launching on October 11 between Singapore and New York (Newark), the world’s longest commercial flight.

  • – Wellness Cuisines – developed by Canyon Ranch chefs and nutritionists focused on nutrition and hydration (taking into consideration longer flight duration with less body movement), combined with bold flavors and textures.
  • – Rest and Relaxation – which includes sleep strategies designed to help customers in all cabin classes improve the duration and quality of rest, as well as specific light settings in providing better cabin ambiance for rest and relaxation
  • – Guided Stretching Exercises – led by Canyon Ranch exercise physiologists, accessible via personal seat back entertainment systems to promote relaxation. Singapore will be the first airline in the world to operate the A350-900ULR, with seven on firm order with Airbus.

Long Security Lines at Airports May Become A Thing Of The Past 

The WSJ reports the Transportation Security Agency is looking at ways to streamline the process and prevent passengers from missing flights. There is a glimmer of hope that the frustrating, slow airport security experience will get a little smoother over the next few years. In a partnership with American Airlines, the Transportation Security Administration introduced a new kind of machine last month to screen carry-on bags in Terminal 8 at Kennedy International Airport in New York. The machines, the agency says, improve on the current system, in which most travelers have their carry-on bags screened by X-ray machines that produce only two-dimensional images of their contents. If agents are unsure of what they’re seeing, they pull the bag aside and inspect its contents manually. The new machines use computed tomography, a technology that produces three-dimensional images so detailed they can even show the mass and densities of items in the bag, including liquids inside their containers. With the new machines, the T.S.A. says, security agents will be better able to analyze what is inside a bag and will be less likely to have to perform searches by hand.

Easter Island Limits Tourism In Preservation Efforts

CNN reports it’s a five-hour flight to Chile’s Easter Island (Rapa Nui) from the nation’s capital of Santiago. Mysterious, hard-to-get-to and isolated, the volcanic island in Polynesia automatically makes it a dream destination for intrepid travelers who long to get off the beaten path. But now, the island is one of many destinations around the world trying to balance popularity with preservation. Lonely Planet’s Alex Butler reports that tourists can only stay on the far-flung Easter Island for a period of 30 days; previously, a 90-day stay was permissible. This new rule applies both to international travelers and to Chileans who are not a part of the indigenous Rapa Nui people. While the 30-day rule went into effect August 1, Chile has not yet established how many visitors will be allowed on the island. 

Los Angeles Will Be the First US City To Use Subway Body Scanners

Associated Press reports Los Angeles will be the first US city to start equipping its subways with body scanners. But the Southern California metropolis isn’t using the bulky, slow-operating models that populate US airports: Instead, LA’s Metropolitan Transit Authority will deploy portable trunk-sized scanners that can survey people from 30 feet away at a rate of 2,000 individuals an hour. Los Angeles will be the first US city to start equipping its subways with body scanners. But the Southern California metropolis isn’t using the bulky, slow-operating models that populate US airports: Instead, LA’s Metropolitan Transit Authority will deploy portable trunk-sized scanners that can survey people from 30 feet away at a rate of 2,000 individuals an hour. They can scan people from 30 feet away and process 2,000 individuals per hour. LA MTA will use the scanners, made by Thruvision, in response to threats of terrorism or to scan large crowds heading to protests or sporting events, according to the Los Angeles Times. They use radio waves to pick out guns and nonmetal explosives beneath clothing and highlight them on a split-screen display. They are calibrated to especially pick out weapons capable of mass casualties.

Emotional Support Animals No Longer Allowed On Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships

Cruise Critic reports Royal Caribbean has updated its policy on emotional support animals. Emotional support animals, defined as those whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support are no longer allowed onboard its ships; emotional support animals do not qualify as service animals under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Service animals, which support people with both physical and mental disabilities, are still covered under Royal Caribbean’s policy; they are permitted in all public areas, including dining venues, as long as they are on a leash or harness. Disabilities that might require service animals include blindness, deafness and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. “We are changing our policy, but the policy is being changed to better differentiate between emotional support animals and service animals because they are two very different things,” a Royal Caribbean spokesperson told Cruise Critic. “Service animals that are formally trained and certified to perform a function are still welcome onboard with the proper paperwork and certifications.”

Facial Recognition Cameras Are Working In Some Airports But Where Does The Data Go?

The NYT reports the cameras are now operational at airports in Orlando, Los Angeles, Detroit and Atlanta. The program makes boarding an international flight a breeze: Passengers step up to the gate, get their photo taken and proceed onto the plane. There is no paper ticket or airline app. Thanks to facial recognition technology, their face becomes their boarding pass. The problem confronting thousands of travelers, is that few companies participating in the program, called the Traveler Verification Service, give explicit guarantees that passengers’ facial recognition data will be protected. And even though the program is run by the Department of Homeland Security, federal officials say they have placed no limits on how participating companies, mostly airlines but also cruise lines, can use that data or store it, opening up travelers’ most personal information to potential misuse and abuse such as being sold or used to track passengers’ whereabouts. The data the airlines collect is used to verify the identity of passengers leaving the country, an attempt by the department to better track foreigners who overstay their visas. After passengers’ faces are scanned at the gate, the scan is sent to Customs and Border Protection and linked with other personally identifying data, such as date of birth and passport and flight information. For its part, Customs and Border Protection has said it will retain facial scans of American citizens for no longer than 14 days. But the agency has said it cannot control how the companies use the data because they “are not collecting photographs on C.B.P.’s behalf.” The program is not mandatory for passengers. But the airlines, Delta, Lufthansa, British Airways and JetBlue, have reported that a majority of passengers participate.

Viking River Cruises Becomes An Adult-Only Line

Viking River Cruises has announced a ban on guests below the age of 18 sailing on their vessels on bookings made from August 1, 2018. The update on the policy says, “As of 1 August 2018, for all NEW bookings, all Viking guests will need to be 18 years old to travel on either the river or ocean product. Guests booked on a Viking River Cruise prior to 1 August 2018 who are 12 years old or above will be allowed to sail on their currently booked voyage. We will continue to support this program until 2020 when all the previously booked guests will have sailed. For all cruise tours booked after 1 August, 2018 (regardless of departure year), you must be 18 years old on or before the day you are scheduled to embark on the cruise tour.”

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