Off The Rock: Airports, Rental Cars & United

July 27, 2017

[New travel column written by Don Burgess]


Traveling through US airports just became a little more annoying.

On Wednesday, The US Transportation Security Administration [TSA] decided that any electronic device larger than a cell phone will now have to be taken out of carry-on bags and be put into bins and pass through security screenings at airports.

This is the same procedure for laptops passengers have had to adhere to for years. So it will be one bin for your laptop, one for your iPad or tablet or e-readers.

In a released statement, the TSA said there was “an increased threat to aviation security’ as a reason for the change in policy. Two months ago, the TSA ran a pilot program in 10 airports for the larger electronic devices, which they termed as successful.

The new policy will be rolled out to every US airport over the coming months. Those enrolled in the TSA Pre-Check program won’t have to adhere to the new rule.

Rental Cars

Forbes reported this week that ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft have depressed the rental car market. The good news for you is that is causing prices to move downward which means more deals to be had for you.

Also on the rental car front, members of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s rewards program — the Crown & Anchor Society – can get an additional 20% of the stated rate by using a special code from Royal’s website.

United Airlines

In mid-July, United unveiled a new program to handle overbooked flights and avoid problems. The program is called Flex-Schedule and passengers who sign up could receive messages up to five days before their flight leaves, letting them know that United will offer a $250 voucher if they are willing to give up their seat and travel on a later flight.

United said that those agreeing will still travel on the same day from the same airports so it won’t work out of Bermuda but it could be a deal if you are traveling through multiple cities in the US.

$250 may be worth it to most travelers for the inconvenience of waiting a few hours.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Good Stuff says:

    Good stuff!

    My biggest gripe with travelling on my BDA passport is the confusion when traveling through non-gateway airports. I would love to see the government do more to promote understanding around the rules of our unique passports.

    Or I just need to stop playing around and get my UK passport ;)

  2. Hello says:

    There is no problem with renting a car in Boston, just book online before you go.

    • Derek says:

      So for clarity, the rental of cars in Boston is not an issue as long as you make the reservation online before you go? The fact that Bermuda is not included in the list of countries that allows for car rentals is no longer valid? I would think that the Bermuda government would be right on top of that considering the high volume of locals traveling to Massachusetts for medical purpose alone never mind to visit family, friends and vacations.