The TSA has dropped idea of allowing knives on planes. The head of the Transportation Security Administration announced Wednesday he would end his effort to allow small knives through screening. A coalition of Flight Attendant unions has been holding leafleting events at airports, and families of 9/11 victims also opposed TSA's proposal.
The route would use a new US Customs and Border Control preclearance facility being built in Abu Dhabi, to be paid for by American taxpayers for the benefit of middle-eastern travelers. The facility would unfairly favor heavily subsidized, rapidly expanding Arab carriers, like Etihad and Emirates, that are already destroying American jobs by taking market share from U.S. carriers. (Emirates alone has orders for widebody aircraft worth more than the market cap of all U.S. airlines combined.) The customs facility is opposed by both ALPA and Airlines for America (the alliance of U.S airline companies), nevertheless, construction of the facility in Abu Dhabi enjoys bipartisan support, thanks to intense lobbying from foreign interests. [The U.S. Supreme Court's horrible "Citizens United" decision lets even foreign governments spend unlimited money to legally bribe or intimidate our elected representatives at the federal, state and local levels. Emirates has gone so far as to build a school in a key congressman's district, and funded campaign ads supporting their Democrat and Republican "allies" running for House and Senate seats. To learn more about Citizens United and what you can do about it, view this this short and entertaining TED talk - Editor.] [Update: Maybe democracy isn't dead yet...House Passes Amendment Blocking Preclearance Facility] Etihad has also opened a new lounge at Dulles, next to the airline's departure gate in Terminal A. The lounge "provides premium passengers with unfettered and convenient direct access to the aircraft without having to go through a traditional departure gate." Washington, D.C., is the fourth North American destination for Etihad Airways after New York, Chicago and Toronto.
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