A program that speeds travelers through airport security is a hit.
CLEAR CUT: Clear registered travelers receive a card that contains their fingerprint and an iris scan, allowing them to bypass some security procedures. Similar programs are expected to be adopted at other airports around the country.Federal transportation officials are expected to announce plans this month to expand a test-pilot biometric technology program that helps frequent fliers move through airport security screening more quickly.
The Clear registered traveler program enrolled about 4,500 people during its first month at Orlando International Airport, says Steven Brill, founder and CEO of New York-based Verified Identity Pass, which partnered with Lockheed Martin to develop the technology. That's more than double what he expected.
Geared toward business travelers, the program issues each member an acrylic card that contains biometric information, including a fingerprint and an iris scan. The pass lets the holder bypass some security procedures. Travelers can sign up for $79.95 a year at flyclear.com.
The program has been so popular in Orlando, even people who fly into town on business are signing up for it, Brill says. A kiosk has been set up downtown for companies that want to register multiple employees, and Lockheed is creating a smaller device that can be moved around to different workplaces.
Airports are anxious to get it, Brill says, not just so they can offer convenience to their frequent fliers and attract people who are now driving or taking trains to skip security hassles. They realize people standing in security lines aren't spending money at airport concessions. He expects a half-dozen more airports to adopt similar programs very quickly once they get the go-ahead from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.
Southwest Airlines is now the busiest carrier at Orlando International Airport, surpassing longtime record holder Delta Air Lines, which had held the distinction since 1988. Here are the total number of passengers for the top airlines at OIA:
Top Airlines at Orlando InternationalAirlineOIA PassengersSouthwest Airlines510,431Delta Air Lines492,227American Airlines306,840US Airways241,118United Airlines182,837AirTran Airways176,584Continental Air Lines162,640By Air and Sea
Miami-based LAN Airlines plans to invest $750 million for 25 Airbus A318 and A319 aircraft, with an option to buy 15 more. The planes, which will be added gradually starting in late 2006, will help the company expand its flights within Latin America, specifically in Argentina, Peru and Chile...
Norwegian Cruise Line is expanding its service to Port Canaveral next year, scheduling a total of 45 stops there for three of its ships. Norwegian Dawn will dock there weekly from May to August; Norwegian Spirit will stop weekly from February through May and then every other week through October; and Norwegian Majesty will call at Port Canaveral on a single day: Oct. 20, 2006.
Calling All Hotel Execs
Florida hotel executives will have to choose between two industry events taking place Sept. 22-24 at the same time in Orlando. The Florida Lodging Association's 2005 Annual Conference & Business Marketplace (flahotel.com), aimed at general managers and sales and marketing executives, will be at Walt Disney World's Coronado Springs Resort. Just down the road, at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, tourism marketing firm Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell is hosting a Tourism Leadership Summit (2005tourismsummit.com) for senior executives in lodging, attractions, cruise lines and others in travel...
Florida International University's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management in Miami now offers a distance learning program for industry executives worldwide who want to earn a master's degree in 20 months. Details are at http://hospitality.fiu.edu.