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Bill Introduced to Expand Enrollment in TSA PreCheck



Legislation recently introduced in the Senate would expand enrollment in the Transportation Security Administration‘s (TSA) Precheck program to include travelers who have already passed extensive background checks.

Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Gary Peters (D-MI) proposed the Secure Traveler Act last week in hopes of making it easier for people like law enforcement officers and federal employees with an active security clearance to enroll in TSA PreCheck, thus freeing up resources and minimizing lines at airport security checkpoints.

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Eligible travelers would still be required to pay all applicable fees and meet other program requirements to successfully enroll. TSA PreCheck costs $85 for a five-year membership.

“If we can move passengers through TSA checkpoints faster, in an effective and secure way, the travel experience will be better and less stressful, and with shorter lines, it will be safer, too,” Thune said in a statement.

The U.S. Travel Association applauded the proposal, calling it an “important bill.”

“Those serving in positions of public trust have already undergone a stringent vetting process. Eliminating a duplicative background check for these individuals will facilitate Precheck enrollment, helping to reduce wait times and alleviating pressure on an already stretched-thin TSA workforce,” said U.S. Travel Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Barnes in a statement Friday.

“The expedited screening process requires fewer officers and allows the agency to focus resources on travelers who have not been vetted. Security is, therefore, the main beneficiary of growing Precheck,” Barnes added. “U.S. Travel applauds the bipartisan efforts of Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and is eager to lend its support to Congress to ensure the swift passage of this important bill.”

In February, airlines/tsa-pre-check-adds-nine-additional-airlines.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>nine new airlines were added to TSA PreCheck with Qatar Airways joining last month. You can click here to view a full list of the dozens of participating carriers.

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Emirates Announces Firing Employees Amid the Pandemic



Emirates Airline, the last holdout among the Gulf region‘s three major East-West carriers in retaining its workforce announced on May 31, 2020, that it had fired an undisclosed number of employees, due to the near-shutdown of global air travel amid COVID-19.

The other two—Abu Dhabi’s Etihad and Doha-based Qatar Airways—had already scaled back in terms of staffing as the virus spread, virtually eliminating passenger demand and causing international borders to slam shut.

While Emirates has been applauded during the pandemic for continuing to run repatriation flights around the globe, as well as delivering cargo and critical supplies, it has been dramatically affected by the halting of international passenger travel, just like the rest of the world’s airlines.

In a statement, the company said, “We have endeavored to sustain the current family as is…but have come to the conclusion that we, unfortunately, have to say goodbye to a few of the wonderful people that worked with us.”

Without revealing any particulars of the mass firing, Emirates assured that those being axed from its workforce would be treated, “with fairness and respect.”

ABC News reported that to try and balance some of the immense losses the airline continues to suffer, Dubai’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, injected an undisclosed amount of equity into its operations back in March.

Although the flag carrier, owned by a Dubai sovereign wealth fund, had already reduced its staff members’ pay during the course of the global health crisis.

Meanwhile, Emirates’ home base, Dubai International Airport—typically the world’s busiest in terms of international passenger traffic—has also been running only a fraction of its normal operations.

Dubai, which has positioned itself as a critical hub for the free movement of people, goods and capital from around the globe (all of which the pandemic has disrupted), now depends heavily upon a resumption of activity at its airport.

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