December News release: Security, CLEAR Program & WIFI

Delta Kiosk

Majority of Travelers Are Okay With Scanners, But Hands Off on The Pat Down!
By 2-to-1 margin, most Americans approve of using naked-image, full-body X-ray scanners for passengers going through airport security checks, but fewer than half support the new pat-down procedures, according to a new ABC News in Washington Post poll. 64% of U.S. travelers support using scanning machines.

Half as many are opposed and strong supporters outnumber strong opponents, also by 2-to-1. But when it comes to a full-body pat-down on travelers who decline the full-body scan, or whose electronic screening indicates a need for further examination, 48% see the new pat downs as justified.

Half say that the pat down goes too far, including a majority, 54%, of people who fly at least once a year. (Source: ABC News).

CLEAR Trusted Traveler Program is Back
The CLEAR Trusted Traveler Program is back and in business. The program speeds registered participants through a designated CLEARlane at security check points at participating airports, shut down at the end of 2009, when CLEAR and its parent company filed for bankruptcy.

It has relaunched with new owners and management. Members present their CLEARcards whose encrypted biometrics includes fingerprints and iris images, to verify their identity. It is relaunched in Denver and Orlando airports. (Source: CLEAR).

Recovering Economy Fuels Increase in Air Travel Spending
Air miles flown by passengers in the U.S. increased 7% in October and the average cost to fly one mile rose 10%, according to the latest figures from the Air Transport Association. It was the 10th consecutive month of revenue growth for airlines. U.S. airlines have added domestic seat capacity at an accelerated rate over the last 4 months, increasing 3% this November over last November, according to the aviation data company OAG.

Canada is lagging the U.S., however, and Mexico is still feeling the impact of Mexicana’s demise, with international flights into Mexico down 10% in frequency and 7% in seats. Frequency and seat capacity in Central America are down 18% and 17% respectively, since Mexicana went out of business. (Source: ATA, OAG press releases).

Front of the Plan Filling Up Internationally, But Growth in Seat Capacity Slows
On international flights, more travelers are flying in the front of the plane, according to the latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Passengers flying in first and business class internationally rose 13.8% in July, according to figures IATA released last month. For the first half of 1010, even when including losses due to the volcano that shut down Europe in April, premium travel was up 11.9%.

This is more than double the average 45% growth in premium travel in the years before the recession. However, yields are still down from pre-crisis levels. (Source: IATA press release).

More WiFi in the Sky
Delta Airlines is installing onboard wifi on the 223 aircraft in its regional fleet operated by Delta carriers. This expands by 40% the number of Delta aircraft featuring GoGo in-flight internet service.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa is introducing in-flight wifi on long-haul intercontinental routes.

It will roll it out first on the North Atlantic and offer it free through the end of January. Lufthansa was an early adopter of in-flight Wi Fi, in 2003. (Source: Delta, Lufthansa press releases).