Group urges airport screening overhaul

The Department of Homeland Security and its Transportation Security Administration have been looking at ways to speed up screening, noting that screening the bags carried onto a plane instead of being checked costs an extra $260 million.

The Obama administration should adopt a trusted traveler program and order airlines to permit travelers to check one bag for free to make airport screening faster and encourage more travel, a leading industry group said yesterday.

The U.S. Travel Association — whose members include hotels, car rental services and amusement parks — worked with security experts to develop recommendations to improve the screening process, which has turned off travelers because of searches seen as invasive and long wait times to get through security.

The Obama administration has been racing to beef up aviation security after a Nigerian man tried to detonate a bomb hidden in his underwear aboard a transatlantic flight as it approached Detroit from Amsterdam on Christmas Day in 2009.

At the same time, officials are facing a backlash from travelers and the industry about having to arrive at the airport hours in advance to clear security checkpoints and going through full-body scanners that show revealing images.



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