November 23, 2017 | Kendall Creighton Whether your clan will drive over the river and through the woods, or take a plane – traveling during Thanksgiving is hectic. As usual, that’s the case this year as 28.5 million Americans are expected fly, an increase of 3 percent over last Thanksgiving says Airlines for America (A4A), a trade group of the airline industry. A4A says the surge is due to a “strong economy,” “low airfares” and that the airlines are “adding seats” to make room for the extra travelers. This is somewhat dubious, considering fares have been on the rise according to travel management companies, and load factors have been maxed out for years, as airlines wring every penny out of every last seat. Biggest Change – Food Screening and Behavior Detection We wrote about this three weeks ago, when TSA started screening Halloween candy. Described as Enhanced Property Search, it involves an all-encompassing screening of your property – including an “inspection of food items being hand-carried.” So be prepared to put your snacks and food items into the bins for inspection. And, yes, this will include your Thanksgiving leftovers. The Behavior Detection Program adds extra “human interaction” into the screenings – meaning a brief interview with an airline ticket agent or security agent at the airport, who will be looking for visual signs of lying or stress. Stories We’re Following… No Thanksgiving for the Department of Transportation The Editorial Board, USA TODAY Air travelers had reason to celebrate in July 2016 when Congress approved consumer-friendly changes, including a provision to make it cheaper and easier for parents to be seated next to their young children. That change alone, after a bipartisan push that started in 2012, would make flying less of a hassle for families during this jammed Thanksgiving week and the coming Christmas holidays. Too bad those measures have never taken effect. You can thank the U.S. Department of Transportation for that… TSA screeners, equipment or procedures failed 80 percen of tests in latest undercover operation at US airports The Department of Homeland Security carried out undercover tests with TSA and they found ‘vulnerabilities’ at security checkpoints at airports across the US. The failure rate of security test was ‘in the ballpark’ of 80 per cent, an insider said. Members of congress said the failures were ‘disturbing’ and called TSA ‘broken’ Homeland Security has since offered recommendations to improve TSA checks… Air traffic control privatization is just an airline power grab OPINION, Washington Examiner For millions of Americans, the holidays mean flying home, often to a small town served by a small airport. While Americans make their holiday plans, what they may not know is that the big airlines are demanding Congress pass a bill that would likely threaten needed upgrades at airports in small towns and communities across the country… Help us fight for passenger rights!