Expedited Entry and Screening While Traveling
Editor's Note: Having just returned from a trip to England we decided to update our audience on our check-in experience at a US airport (San Francisco) and at Heathrow, outside London. By the way, we carried knitting needles as allowed by Virgin Atlantic. And, this week we noted that our Superior Court notice for Jury Duty in northern California did not allow knitting needles in the waiting room.
Interestingly enough, we were directed to a line that, including ourselves seemed to be made up of those over 50! And yes, we did take off our shoes, remove belts, phones and the usual assortment of items to be deposited into plastic bins. But we weren't asked to step into a full-body backscatter scanner at that entry check-through or at Heathrow coming home. However, we were patted down in London before flying back. Would I have opted for the pat-down over the x-ray machine, if asked? Yes, until our airport is fitted with less radiated machines..
What's more, we used our Global Entry RFID-enabled card for expedited entry for the first time: "Enrolled users must present their machine-readable Passport or permanent residency card and submit their fingerprints to establish identity. Users then complete a computerized Customs Declaration, and are issued a receipt instructing them to either proceed to baggage claim, or to a normal inspection booth for a normal interview."
NEXUS is a bi-national cooperative effort, partnering Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and US Customs and Border Protection.
Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) is US Customs and Border Protection's trusted traveler program for approved frequent border crossers at southern land borders.
A recent (October 2011) TSA memo:
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced 29 airports which are set to receive recently purchased millimeter wave Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines. The machines will be deployed with new automated target recognition software designed to enhance privacy by eliminating passenger-specific images while improving throughput capabilities and streamlining the checkpoint screening process.
“We remain committed to implementing technologies that strengthen passenger privacy while ensuring the highest level of security,” said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. “In addition to improving the passenger experience at the checkpoint, advanced imaging technology continues to give us the greatest opportunity to detect and deter evolving threats to aviation.”
TSA plans to deploy units to the following airports in the coming months:
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