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Millions of Americans Still Aren’t Ready for New Real ID

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New data from a travel organization shows as many as 182 million Americans still do not meet Real ID requirements as the October 1 deadline looms.

According to CBSNews.com, U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President Tori Barnes revealed that 57 percent of citizens in the United States are not aware of the upcoming deadline and what it means to their travel plans.

For travelers, the new Real IDs will be needed when boarding a flight, entering a federal building or visiting a military base. To ease the stress, airports will also accept passports, military IDs and Global Entry cards.

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The U.S. Travel Association said while nearly 100 million U.S. citizens already have the Real ID cards, only 34 percent of Americans have received their updated license, which will cause havoc for travelers at airports in October.

“The potential is catastrophic. We’re absolutely not Real ID ready at all,” Barnes told CBS News. “We know 99 million Americans don’t have a Real ID. It’s going to be Thanksgiving 2020 where Grandma goes to get on a plane and she can’t go see her grandkids.”

“Eighty-thousand people on the first day could be turned away,” Barnes continued. “About half a million in the first week. And $300 million is what that could cost in economic loss.”

To help meet the October 1 deadline, the U.S. government has granted permission to individual states to start allowing travelers to submit the required Real ID application documents electronically.

In addition, the Department of Homeland Security is looking to the public, individual states and private companies to develop ideas to speed up the process and make it easier to understand.

The Airports Council International-North America said the deadline is a “crisis waiting to happen” and called on the federal government to push the deadline back in hopes of buying more time for travelers to acquire the identification.

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Airline Travel Hits a 10-Year Low

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Saying that demand for air travel is declining at a rate quicker than airlines are even trimming capacity, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says traveling by plane has hit a 10-year low.

As the spread of the coronavirus continues to play havoc with everyday life, airlines are feeling the brunt and trimming flight schedules nearly every day. In fact, with the apex of the virus approaching for New York City, United just announced it is dramatically cutting back service in and out of NYC-area airports.

According to the TSA, airport security checkpoints screened fewer than 125,000 people nationwide on Thursday, April 2. That’s less than 5 percent of the 2.4 million people, including both passengers and crew members, who passed through TSA checkpoints on the same day last year.

Overall, the TSA reported that passenger counts are down about 92 percent – and “passenger traffic is falling much faster than they [airlines] can cut capacity.” In March, TSA screened just under half of the passengers it did in March 2019.

Airlines must continue to keep a minimum of flights and move cargo, as per government provisions of the bailout that was part of the stimulus package.

CNN reported that as a result of the drop in demand, about 20 percent of the US commercial aviation fleet – some 1,200 planes – are parked and have not been used in the last seven days, according to data from Airlines for America. Some airlines have decided to retire older aircraft ahead of schedule.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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