Spring travel deals: New apps, old-school strategies

When Lee Speight was looking for a deal on a weekend trip from Richmond, Va., to Seattle, he started with Google Flights. The best price for an advance purchase fare was about $775.

Not bad. Could he do better? Read more “Spring travel deals: New apps, old-school strategies”

Is the TSA’s PreCheck program ready for what comes next?

The TSA's "randomizer" in action at Orlando International Airport on Feb. 28, 2014. This iPad-based application sends roughly every third passenger to the faster Pre-Check line. The rest are offered given a conventional screening. If the arrow points left, it's your lucky day.
The TSA’s “randomizer” in action at Orlando International Airport on Feb. 28, 2014. This iPad-based application sends roughly every third passenger to the faster Pre-Check line. The rest are offered given a conventional screening. If the arrow points left, it’s your lucky day.

The Transportation Security Administration’s vaunted new PreCheck system, which offers selected air travelers access to expedited security screening, is hurtling toward its first big test: a crowd of spring break passengers, quickly followed by a crush of inexperienced summer vacationers.

Although the agency assigned to protect U.S. transportation systems says that it’s ready, some travelers remain unconvinced. They point to problems with the existing PreCheck procedures and their own often inconsistent experiences with them.

Here’s how PreCheck is supposed to work: Passengers pay an $85 enrollment fee and submit to a background check and interview. In exchange, they may receive a pre-9/11 type of screening that allows them to keep on their shoes, belts and light outerwear, leave their laptops in their cases and not remove clear zip-top bags of liquids and gels from their carry-on luggage.
Read more “Is the TSA’s PreCheck program ready for what comes next?”

Going anywhere this spring and summer? (SURVEY)

It’s that time of year. I’m interested in your upcoming travel plans — and your best advice for a better trip.

Please take the survey. I’ll report the results soon.
Read more “Going anywhere this spring and summer? (SURVEY)”