9 New Security Measures For Flights and How They Will Affect You

A lot has happened in the last few days to change the way that we all will be travelling in the future. There will be new security measures for flights based on these recent incidents.

Firstly, I am sure you all have heard or read about the 23-year old Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who allegedly attempted to blow up a plane he was on as it neared Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Christmas Day. He had a peroxide-based bomb attached to his body, and when he detonated it, the bomb, thank God, sparked a fire instead of an explosion.

The Nigerian man had told fellow passengers that he felt sick, and pulled a blanket up around his body and neck, and proceeded to ignite the bomb that was stored in his underwear. Pops were heard and smoke was seen. Quick action by the flight crew and passengers subdued Abdulmutallab. All ended up safe at the end of this flight with the exception of Abdulmutallab, who is reported to have suffered third-degree burns.

Then, two days later a man from Florida, 67-year old Thomas Ouellette, reportedly brought a pyrotechnic device onto his flight that landed in NYC’s LaGuardia Airport last Sunday night.

The question is: How will these new security measures for flights affect the rest of us when we travel?

According to a report on CNN today, U.S. Travel and Security Authorities, international airlines and airports, and aviation organizations have all moved quickly to implement a range of new security measures for flights that will impact travellers’ normal routines.

At present, only flights to the U.S. are affected. Passengers can expect to see extra security “at international airports such as increased gate screening including pat-downs and bag searches. During flight, passengers will be asked to follow flight crew instructions, such as stowing personal items, turning off electronic equipment and remaining seated during certain portions of the flight”, stated The Transportation Security Administration.

New security measures for flights include the following for the last hour of flight over U.S. Territory:

  • Passengers will not be allowed to leave their seats for the bathroom
  • No access to luggage, especially in the overhead area
  • Not able to keep blankets or pillows on your lap
  • Bans on using laptops and MP3 players
  • Restriction for the use of cabin phones

Additional New security measures for flights include the following:

  • Arrive at the airport at least three hours before your flight
  • Be prepared for longer wait times to clear security
  • Be prepared for pat-downs from security and individual airline security personnel
  • Be prepared for additional inspection of carry-on baggage and personal items before boarding your flight

The Detroit incident has shown a hole in airport security measures. Could the next step possibly be a ban on all hand luggage, including handbags and purses?

As of today this is what some airlines are telling their passengers about the new security measures for flights:

British Airways is advising all passengers travelling to the States to minimize hand luggage to only one piece. Holiday presents that are wrapped will be opened and inspected.

Cathay Pacific is advising their passengers to expect pat-downs from security and inspection of carry-on baggage and personal items before boarding the plane. Also, the use of cabin phones will be restricted at all times during the flight.

American Airlines advises all passengers to arrive at the airport at least three hours before the flight to allow for added security checks.

Our take on the new security measures for flights? We would rather be safe than sorry…..if it takes extra time to be cleared through Security – so what? If it turns out that you have an extra hour to wait for your flight, get something to eat (it might be better than the food on the plane anyway), make those last good-bye phone calls, start reading your book, take time to talk to your travel partner, go to the bathroom an extra time for good measure.

To sum it up: Arrive early, have your paperwork including passport ready, a tight grip on your patience, be cooperative…..and remember, smile, smile, smile.

Budget Travel: How to Travel the Smart Way!

The key to budget travel is to plan ahead. When it comes to
family trips, globetrotting, well-deserved vacations and/or
going to see new places we have never been before, the
reality of cost and budgeting is always in the back of our
minds.

Planning and spending our travel dollar wisely is a priority
for most families. Curbing spending and costs, while still
enjoying your vacation to its fullest, is the key to
guaranteed success and fiscal responsibility. Your
pocketbook and family will thank you!

The reasoning behind saving money while traveling is simple:
Even if your personal budget is extremely tight, you can
still take a break and enjoy life! Simply put, life is just
too short to never step out of the door or leaving the
homestead!

Also remembering that while traveling, whether on a budget
or not, even the smallest of things can all add op to a
large vacation or travel bill!

For example, all those hotel extra’s, cab-fares, tips,
restaurants, car rentals, gas for your own vehicle if on a
road trip, tickets for special attractions or events,
beach-and-pool-side drinks (if not at an all-inclusive
resort or cruise) and more, adds on and piles up!

This brings us to the some of the rhyme and reason behind
budgeting for travel and planning well. This also applies
monetarily, to ensure your trip is a success, enjoyable and
memorable. Your outlook could be a balance between
replenishing your resources and not breaking the bank in the
process!

How to make “SMART” travel goals that are achievable.

(You may find yourself at the resort of your dreams if you follow
these steps) .

Like anything else in life, travel needs to be planned for
somewhat. It is almost like setting a short-time ‘SMART’
goal for leisure and vacationing. Marketers of time-share
and destination vacations, often refer to this as an
argument to invest in a travel solution.

People often suggest that we treat travel or vacationing,
like any other planned financial decision in life. This is
all irrespective of whether this includes house, car,
tuition, health, insurance or other life-expense. Travel and
vacation is justified and ‘sold’, as just another important
item on the list to think about and budget for.

Setting goals is described and accepted as a powerful tool
to achieve success and keeps people motivated.

Out of the list of dream destinations you just made or have
in mind, you cannot possibly achieve reaching all of them,
and nor should you perhaps. One can but wish and dream …
Going after these dreams in a planned fashion, will mean a
significant investment of time, money, energy, talent, and
opportunities. You will need to prioritize.

Prioritizing should include travel items, trips, goals and
destinations that you really desire to visit, see, conquer,
treasure, explore and would love to achieve in your
lifetime.

Realizing of course that these ‘dreams’ though, might not
all be achievable immediately, or at all. You need to view
this as a wish list, shortlist eventually becoming
checklist! Then, move on to making at least the first goal
or location visit on the list happen this year!
(Alternatively, as soon as funds allow and you are able to
make it happen).

Hands-on work, defining and planning for travel in such a
way that it will convey an actual goal or goals,
destinations, budgets and periods.

A goal, in order to be effective and drive people towards
it, should have the following characteristics. The goal
should be Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic,
and Time-constrained. In other words, it must be a SMART
goal, (as referred to earlier).

SPECIFIC: The travel goal(s) should be specific. Detail is
what matters here. Avoid generalizations; get to the point
and crux of the matter. Specify your immediate travel needs
and means. Then plan to go after it pro-actively.

For example, take that tropical island, destination dream
vacation: “I have always wanted to …” seems a little
general when compared to ‘I will travel, with my family to
Hawaii for a vacation of two weeks within the next six
months.’

MEASURABLE: The SMART travel goal must be measurable. This
goes along with being specific. A goal defined specifically
might already be measurable. The abovementioned goal stated
intention, involved parties, location, purpose and a
timeframe – all measurable elements.

A measurable travel goal, like going to Hawaii, with a
family of four, including two children under the age of
five, within the next six months helps you identify, plan,
execute and track more efficiently and increase your odds of
actually making it there! Considering the logistics in this
fashion, makes it that more realistic to enable your family
to take the planned trip of a lifetime, as opposed to just
dreaming about it!

ACTION-ORIENTED: A SMART goal must also be action oriented.
It cannot merely be stated. You must relate the goal to
doing something, to indicate what needs to be done. An
action verb will indicate what needs to be accomplished. “I
will travel” is a good example of an action statement,
stated intent and implies preparation and planning, will and
persistence.

REALISTIC: For any goal to be motivational and get you
committed to reaching it, it must be realistic. When a goal
is not realistic and the person does not really believe it
can be reached, then the commitment is lacking and the
effort will not be there to permit the goal to be realized.

Choosing realistic goals are based on your present status.
What jumps to mind right away in our example, is whether and
how you can afford it and make it happen! (Hopefully this
guide can also offer some tips to get your there).

TIME-CONSTRAINED: In order for a goal to move people towards
it, it must be time-constrained. A timeline needs to be
associated with it. It will entice people to move towards
the goal. The timeline set, will be based on the goal itself
and the present status. Six months is stated here as a
realistic timeline, leaving enough time to save for, plan,
book and take your well-deserved vacation to Hawaii (as in
our stated example),OR anywhere else YOU have chosen to go!

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Green Travel Plan Advice

A Green Travel Plan should deliver economic, practical and easy to manage measures both now and in the future. The majority of individuals that usually require a green travel plan are commercial developers and businesses. A plan should typically be:

  • economic to implement ‘day one’
  • cost effective for future management
  • include practical, well thought out measures that work

What’s the difference between Green and Workplace travel plans?

A Green Travel Plan (also typically known as a Workplace Travel Plan) is an obligation imposed by local authorities through the planning process typically by way of panning condition attached to a planning consent or by a S.106 agreement. It may also be introduced as a requirement during the application process.

In addition a Travel Plan is often a requirement of a BREEAM assessment process.

The Green Travel Plan sets out a suite of actions and measures intended to promote travel to the site by sustainable transport methods such as bicycle, bus or train rather than private car.

So I have a Green Travel Plan, what happens if I don’t follow it?

Most local authorities will require occupiers to monitor the effectiveness of the plan to ensure measures are being implemented and targets set in the plan are being met. The aim should be to demonstrate ongoing improvement.

Some local authorities now have sustainable travel officers whose sole duty is to promote sustainable travel and to monitor plans to ensure compliance.

Ultimately the local authority does have the power to take Enforcement action against you if you are not implementing and monitoring your plan. The council has the power to issue of a breach of condition notice to require you to comply with the requirements which could ultimately lead to prosecution and fine if you still fail to comply.

What Actions and Measures do the plans typically include?

They are sometimes produced to include high cost and complicated measures such as staff showers, public transport information and ticketing systems, subsidised public transport, cycle parking and staff loan schemes. Whilst it’s important to be mindful of the commercial necessity to obtain a consent, more simpler and cost effective measures should be considered as well, such as; free internet access to travel guides; website links to local travel information; car sharing schemes and on site maps of bus and train stations.

A plan should be produced to minimise the cost to the clients of delivering their plan whilst balancing this against the local planning policy requirements and need for a consent in a timely manner.

What will my Green Travel Plan cost?

Every plan is different based on the local policy requirements, the site constraints and the commercial pressures. Each should ideally be produced on a site specific basis. It is important to appreciate that a well considered and written plan allied to skilled consultants negotiating terms with the local authority will save you more money than you will ever spend on preparing it. Conversely, one poorly written will cost you money ‘day one’ and for many years to come as you continue to spend money and management time on costly and unwieldy measures.