Audit: TSA wasted millions since 9/11

by Jon Surmacz on June 30, 2005

Audit: TSA wasted millions since 9/11 — The audit, along with interviews with people involved in the passenger-screener contract, paints a rare and detailed portrait of how officials at the fledgling agency lost control of the spending in the pell-mell rush to hire 60,000 screeners to meet a one-year congressional deadline. (Washington Post)

Hot topic on the forums: Tips on tipping

This holiday weekend, traffic will be hell — As Americans travel in record numbers this July 4th weekend, they’ll run into longer traffic tie-ups, according to a report being released Thursday. Certainly there’s tremendous concern on getting to work, but now there’s also a concern getting to (your) vacation,” says Frank Moretti, director of policy and research at The Road Information Program (TRIP). (USA Today)

TSA says more money needed — A beleaguered system for checking airline passenger names against criminal and terrorist lists is in “serious jeopardy” of missing deadlines once again if Congress does not provide more money, a Homeland Security official told lawmakers Wednesday. (Congress Daily)

Commentary from Christopher Elliott — More money for what? To buy coffee? To hire a party planner? For tips? C’mon, fellas, can’t you work within your budget?

In Nairobi, a real-life “The Terminal” — After nearly 13 months at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Sanjai L. Shah can safely drop his protest and leave. He is not about to, though. For all this time, Mr. Shah has risen promptly at 5 a.m., when the intercom announces the arrival of Kenya Airways Flight 493 from Zanzibar. He has drifted off to sleep sometime past midnight, after the last airport travelers have come and gone and the terminal that has become his home quiets down for a while. (The New York Times)

Plaza hotel employees share settlement — Twelve former employees of the Plaza Hotel in New York, some of them of South Asian descent, will share the $525,000 settlement of a class-action lawsuit filed on their behalf against Fairmont Hotels and Resorts by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for violating their civil rights. (Economic Times)

Replace justice’s home with a hotel? That’s no joke — Following a Supreme Court ruling last week that gave local governments power to seize private property, someone has suggested taking over Justice David Souter’s New Hampshire farmhouse and turning it into a hotel. (AP)

Nordic governments clash on runway — The Nordic governments clashed in an unexpected way when a cab carrying members of the Finnish delegation crashed into the Norwegian prime minister’s aircraft after a meeting of the region’s premiers in Denmark. “We got a fright. The dead stop was quite harsh even though the speed was low,” said Finnish government spokesman Mikko Norros who was in the taxi when it crashed into the left wing of the parked plane, crushing part of the wing and the car. (Reuters)

Pittsburgh security slip delays passengers — A woman sneaked around a security checkpoint at Pittsburgh International Airport before boarding a Wednesday morning flight to Houston, prompting several flight and checkpoint delays before officials figured out what happened. Continental Airlines was notified that she had boarded a flight, and the woman was screened and interviewed after she arrived in Texas, officials said. (AP)

BMI hopes to cut costs using Internet — UK airline BMI is adopting a new business model that will rely on IT as a strategic tool to cut costs and allow it to compete with low-cost carriers. As well as switching to a single-class service, the airline will use internet-based services to speed up the check-in process for passengers, while at the same time cutting more than £30m a year from its costs. (PC)

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