Ovation's weekly client e-newsletter, the Informed Traveler, keeps readers updated on travel industry news and trends.
Following is a recap of April's Top 5 (most clicked by Ovation clients) e-newsletter stories.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is deploying over 300 new 3D security scanners nationwide, reports USA Today. The new 3D technology allows TSA officers to rotate images digitally to examine an item without unpacking a bag, which in turn allows travelers to keep laptops, liquids and other materials inside their carry-on bags when passing through security. The TSA began testing the 3D scanners in Boston and Phoenix in 2017 and has since expanded to 12 additional locations. The initial deployment of new systems is expected to begin in summer 2019 and be completed in 2020.
Delta Air Lines is reducing seat recline by half on 62 of its Airbus A320s planes that often fly business routes shorter than two hours in an effort to boost customer satisfaction, reports Skift. Delta states the change is because passengers want more space to watch TV, use the internet and eat and drink. The first airplane will start flying this weekend, with the rest coming within the next two months. Seats in economy class, including extra-legroom seats, will recline two inches, down from four. In first class, seats will go from more than five inches of recline to roughly three and a half.
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) panel has found changes Boeing made to a 737 MAX stabilization system to be "operationally suitable," and approved Boeing's plans for training pilots about how the system works, reports CNN. The board's draft report is a step forward for Boeing as it works to return the 737 MAX fleet to the air. After two weeks for public review, the FAA is expected to publish a final board report. The board's review process includes test flights, and Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said last week the software has been tested on nearly 100 test flights.
American Airlines has ordered 100 of the Airbus A321neo planes to be put into service after receiving approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reports USA Today. According to Airbus' website, the aircraft has trademarked fuel-saving wingtips called “Sharklets” and two new engine choices that deliver "per seat fuel improvements of 20 percent, along with additional range of up to 500 nautical miles/900 km. or 2 tons of extra payload." Amenities of the A321 line include high-speed Wi-Fi, power outlets at every seat and built-in holders for electronic devices.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is working toward implementation of biometric exit technology to cover more than 97% of departing commercial air travelers within the next four years, reports Travel Weekly. As of September 2018, 15 U.S. airports were using facial-recognition technology to confirm travelers' identities as they leave the country. To date, CBP has used the facial-recognition system on more than 2 million travelers on more than 15,000 flights; DHS says the biometric system has a match rate of 98%. As a result of this success, it says CBP has received "many commitment letters from airport authorities and/or air carriers supporting biometric exit operations."