Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Opt-Out Day" fizzles!

With all the hoopla surrounding the new TSA Pat-Down procedures, I laughed hard to see how much this angered a few people who have quickly forgotten Richard Reid, the alleged "Shoe Bomber" in February 2002, or just recently, the 2009 Christmas Day "Underwear Bomber" who tried to take down a Delta Air Lines jet when it approached the U.S. soil.

I can understand the inconsistencies we, as travelers, see from the TSA, however the public needs to understand that there are extremists from other countries are out to kill thousands of innocent U.S. individuals, just because we live here in the U.S..

These extreme groups don't just target the military, they target the innocent. In past wars, only those that wore the uniform of an opposing country would be targets. Now, it's a no-holes-barred. I am thankful that there haven't been any attacks over the U.S. soil, but this doesn't mean that the threat isn't there.

Many people try to say that the TSA isn't doing their jobs with these attempts, however, what these same people are forgetting, the "Shoe Bomber" and the "Underwear Bomber" originated OUTSIDE of the U.S.. Even British Airways boss rips the U.S. on our security (or lack of).

So this brings to question....What kind of security does the U.S. need? Do we need the National Guard roaming the airports with machine guns at the ready? Do we need a mirrored model of El Al security where they approach a passenger, is time-consuming, and is "racist": the profilers have a conversation with each passenger; as an Israeli Jew, they usually get the abbreviated treatment -- focusing more on where their bags have been since they packed them. As a foreigner, you get a much more in-depth grilling. As a Muslim? They want to know your shoe size, and then a whole 'nother screener comes over and asks you everything all over again, just to see that you keep your story straight. Like they say in the article above, the conversations they have are not so much about what you say as how you say it. The screeners are taught to iterate a few levels deep into your story and see that it doesn't break down under scrutiny.

I personally would LOVE to see security mirror what was shown in the 1990s movie 'Total Recall'. In the movie, where passengers were going to Mars, passengers walk through an X-Ray passageway. This system should make airport security quicker and more effective. Another point to make, you keep your luggage with you and don't have to put it onto an x-ray belt.

Another item that the news media fail to inform the flying public, is that the TSA Body Image Scanners do NOT store images. I can understand how the news can be misleading, allowing viewers to believe that the images view are stored, and are capable of being sold to a Third Party then your 'image' is plastered all over the internet. This statement is simply FALSE.

I can also understand the 'not knowing' how much radiation we are being exposed to. Sure, these machines are new, and they haven't been thoroughly tested, however according to the FDA, "Health risks are minuscule"
Maybe they should give radiation detection strips to airline crews, and/or the most frequent fliers to showcase how much radiation they're being exposed to.

Monday, November 8, 2010

American Airlines Rainbow site

One of the great aspects for working for a large corporation (American Airlines) with a huge diversity in employee's, they make great strides to be GLBT friendly, not only for it's employee's, but for it's customers too. American has been recognized by HRC as 2010's Best Places to Work for the GLBT Community 9th year running.

Over the years, has gone through many changes which does include the GLBT community. If you are an AAdvantage member, they recently introduced several new and customer-friendly enhancements to® that will provide all of AAdvantage® customers a more personalized experience. The enhancements have been added to the My Account section of and give customers the ability to select preferred Travel Destinations, Travel Products, and Travel Interests.  

American Airlines site has a specific travel site for the GLBT community. If you would like to book your travel, you can visit American Airlines Gay and Lesbian Travel Rainbow.