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Invasion of the Body Scanners: Good or Bad?

With body scanners certain to become standard security fare in airports following last week’s failed bomb plot, the controversy over their use is heating up, again: are they a necessary step to protect passengers or an intrusive tool stripping passengers’ privacy?

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, one of the places where the most recent terror suspect cleared security, will have scanners in place in about three weeks, and I, for one, think it’s a good plan. Scanners certainly seem less intrusive than body searches—which is what Amsterdam passengers who skip the scanner will endure—and only scans that are flagged by a computer will advance to human eyes.

Don’t Let Your Luggage Get Stolen!

Ever wonder where that lost luggage of yours ended up? If you flew through PHX, it may be at this creepy couple’s house. They were arrested this week for stealing more than 1,000 bags from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. I got a call from channel 12 News in Phoenix to talk about how travelers can prevent this from happening to them. Even though it’s tough to protect a bag that isn’t in your possession, there are a few things you can do to make sure someone else doesn’t claim your luggage.

 

Camels & Chocolate: How to Handle an Emergency While Traveling

Please join us in welcoming Kristin Luna to The Window Seat. She lives in San Francisco and is the writer of the Bloggie-award-winning travel blog Camels and Chocolate.

When I scheduled my 28-hour stopover in Helsinki, I thought I’d do a whirlwind tour of the city, snapping some quality architecture shots in true shutterbug fashion and doing little else. Au contraire, naïve one. Instead, I spent the majority of my time in Finland getting acquainted with the downtown poliisi precinct.

On my way to the ferry station to purchase my ticket to Estonia, I was crossing at the green crosswalk like the law-abiding citizen I am. Out of nowhere, a minivan cab came whipping around the way, and performed an illegal U-turn—at a red light at that—before I had time to contemplate my next move.

The Pilot Age Debate

If you follow the news, then you know that last week a pilot died mid-flight. Luckily, the plane landed without incident. The pilot was 60 years old, and apparently died of natural causes, which brings up a topic that we’ve touched on here before on The Window Seat: how old is too old to fly?

Back in December of 2007, then-president Bush approved fast-tracked legislation to raise the pilot age from 60 to 65. The thinking was that if a pilot could pass the same rigorous, standardized medical tests as the younger set, then there’s no reason to bar them from the yoke of the plane. Many people, myself included, applauded this decision, seeing it as an end to age discrimination.