Travel briefs

08/13/2014 2:33 PM

08/13/2014 2:34 PM

AIRPORT SECURITY

NO MORE CUTTING INTO PRECHECK LINES

Here’s bad news for anyone who has ever used the expedited airport security lines without having applied for the program: The Transportation Security Administration has been so successful at signing up travelers for the faster security lines, known as TSA PreCheck, that the agency will restrict passengers who sometimes are waved in when standard screening lines get long.

TSA PreCheck, which accepts travelers who submit background information for pre-clearance, has signed up more than 430,000 fliers since it launched in 2011. People who are approved don’t have to remove their shoes, belts, coats or unpack their laptop computers when going through the faster PreCheck lines.

To qualify for the program, travelers can either be invited through an airline loyalty rewards program or can apply directly to the TSA and pay an $85 fee.

“As we have had more people signed up for TSA PreCheck, we’ll be tapering back on those that we include on a random basis,” TSA Administrator John Pistole said.

AIRLINES

AIRBERLIN AUCTIONS CLASS UPGRADES

Airberlin, which flies between Miami and Germany, has begun auctioning for Business Class upgrades on long-haul flights.

Passengers can check at airberlin.com/upgrade to see whether an auction is available for their flight and can then submit a bid. The passenger will find out at least 12 hours prior to departure whether their bid was successful.

GRAND CANYON

BUMPY SKYWALK ROAD NOW PAVED

Getting to the Grand Canyon Skywalk used to include a teeth-chattering drive over a washboard road fraught with dips and twists. But motorists will now have a smoother drive to the Hualapai Tribe’s most popular tourist destination because the Diamond Bar Road is paved.

The road was the biggest drawback in reaching the Skywalk, a glass bridge that juts out 70 feet from the canyon walls. Tour operators had complained of broken windows, flat tires and missing hubcaps.

Paving the final 9-mile stretch cost more than $30 million.

HOTELS

GUESTS TO PICK ROOM FROM FLOOR PLAN

Thanks to digital technology, hotel guests have the power to reserve a room, check in, order room service and look up nearby restaurants or clubs, all with a few keystrokes on a laptop or mobile device.

Hilton Worldwide now plans to give guests even more booking options. By the end of the year, Hilton said, it will allow guests to pick their room from a floor plan at more than 4,000 hotels from 11 brands.

Hilton added this option for good reason: 37 percent of business travelers said getting a bad room location was the most frustrating part of booking a room, according to a Hilton survey.

Miami Herald

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