January 03, 2003|By Stephen Kiehl | Stephen Kiehl,SUN STAFF
Southwest Airlines cartage will charge a boarding canyon to get through airport aegis checkpoints starting Tuesday, authoritative Southwest the aboriginal airline at Baltimore-Washington All-embracing Airport to crave the acute security.
Passenger itineraries and admission receipts will no best be abundant to get through security, airline admiral said yesterday. Instead, Southwest cartage charge aces up a boarding canyon at the admission counter, at curbside check-in or from one of 12 new cyberbanking ticketing kiosks that the airline has installed at BWI.
Southwest is the busiest airline at BWI, with 144 circadian departures apery about 45 percent of the airport’s business.
The added airlines at BWI will not crave cartage to accept boarding passes to canyon through aegis until allowable by the federal Transportation Aegis Administration.
The TSA said the claim will booty aftereffect for the added airlines at BWI by March, but an exact date has not been set. Already, 46 of the nation’s 429 bartering airports crave the boarding passes. At those airports, a computer affairs picks out bodies who ability present a threat, and their boarding passes are flagged so they get added absorption at checkpoints.
That enables the aegis bureau to focus its screening efforts at checkpoints and to abate the cardinal of accidental screenings at gates, which accept produced complaints from cartage who are delayed by the searches or who accept already been searched at a checkpoint.
“This is a amount of accessibility and bigger security,” said TSA agent Nico Melendez. He said the bureau has no botheration with Southwest accepting a jump on the boarding canyon requirement, which the airline formed out with the TSA aftermost month.
“We were ultimately activity to ask them to do it anyway,” he said. “And if they do it afore we ask them to, that’s great.”
The boarding canyon claim will be accessible to accomplish at BWI because Pier B is acclimated alone by Southwest.
The claim will booty aftereffect aing anniversary at all 59 airports that Southwest serves.
“Rather than cogent our barter that in one burghal you do charge [a boarding pass] and in addition you don’t, we’re aloof accomplishing it everywhere for consistency,” said Christine Turneabe-Connelly, a Southwest spokeswoman.
Southwest said it is authoritative the change now to animate cartage who accept e-tickets and who are not blockage accoutrements to use the kiosks, which about accept abundant beneath curve than the admission adverse does.
To get a boarding pass, fliers charge bash a common flier agenda or a acclaim agenda through the kiosk machine. The airline warns that the name on the acclaim agenda charge absolutely bout the name on the ticket, or a boarding canyon will not be issued.
Southwest said cartage additionally can book out a “security document” from its Internet armpit as aboriginal as a day afore their flight departure. The airline said the certificate will acquiesce cartage to get through aegis checkpoints until boarding passes are accessible online.
Airlines are scrambling to acquiesce cartage to book out boarding passes from their computers to arch off continued curve at admission counters. About 25 percent of the cartage at BWI advance anon to their gate, admiral said.
Meanwhile, TSA and airport admiral said this week’s rollout of the claim to awning all arrested accoutrements went smoothly. As of Wednesday, all accoutrements is actuality buried for explosives by CT-scanning machines or swabs that ascertain atomic residue. Some accoutrements are additionally actuality searched by duke or by bomb-sniffing dogs.
Fears that the searches would advance to continued curve and flight delays accept not materialized. At BWI, agent John White said the changes are advancing at the most-convenient time of the year: the apathetic post-holiday winter months.
“The timing of this is actual good, because that January and February are about our slower months of the year,” White said.
The TSA has acquaint tips for fliers on its Internet armpit at www.tsatraveltips.us.
BWI admiral said they still acclaim that cartage access 90 account aboriginal for calm flights and two hours aboriginal for all-embracing flights.
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