A travel warning, travel alert, or travel advisory is an official warning statement issued by a government agency to provide information about the relative safety of travelling to or visiting one or more specific foreign countries or destinations. The purpose is to enable travelers to make an informed decision about a particular travel destination, and to help travellers prepare adequately for what may be encountered on their trip. In the United States, travel warnings are issued by the Department of State and are often called warden messages.
Four giant airline computer systems in the United States handle nearly all the airline reservations in the country. (They're known as CRSs, for computer reservations systems, or more often now GDS for global distribution systems.) Although each airline has a ``home'' CRS, the systems are all interlinked so that you can, with few exceptions, buy tickets for any airline from any CRS. The dominant systems in the U.S. are Sabre (home to American and US Airways), Galileo (home to United), Worldspan (home to Delta, Northwest), and Amadeus (many European lines.) The company that owned Galileo and Orbitz recently bought Worldspan, so the two GDS will presumably be merged. Many of the low-price start-up airlines don't participate in any of these systems but have their own Web sites where you can check flights and buy tickets. Southwest, the largest and oldest of the low-price airlines, doesn't participate, either. Southwest's web site gets car and hotel info from Galileo, but the info seems not to flow the other way. Orbitz one of the big three online travel agencies, runs its own system which is "direct connect" linked directly to many of the airlines.
Wait times are assessed automatically as follows: on departure, the passenger’s boarding pass is scanned when he/she enters the queue, then again just before he/she begins the individual screening process and, on arrival, when the passenger lines up in the visitors or residents queue in the primary inspection area and again when he/she exits from the area behind the customs officers’ posts.
Luggage Storage & Lockers – Baggage storage is not available; however, you can store small items such as coats, shoes/boots, keys. Inquire at the Information Booth near the airport check-in for service. Rates: $2.35 per day or $14.60 per week for coats or boots and $2.35 per day for small items such as keys. Debit cards, credit cards and CAD$ accepted.
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Citizens from countries participating in the US Visa Waiver Program who wish to travel by air to the United States must obtain prior approval through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). ESTA is used by the U.S. government to screen eligible residents of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries before they board a plane to the U.S to determine whether or not they pose a law enforcement or security risk. VWP passengers are encouraged to apply for an ESTA when beginning to plan travel to the United States, using the convenient ESTA online form External site which may not meet accessibility guidelines. Passengers will be required to present proof of ESTA registration at time of check in and those who have not obtained prior approval via ESTA before departure will be denied boarding.
Passengers are subject to much more extensive screening than in the past, including screening of checked baggage at check-in time, and, according to news reports pat downs that approach groping. Airlines recommend arriving at least an hour earlier than before. In my experience the extra delay is rarely more than 15 minutes, even with the extra baggage screening, although I usually fly out of smaller airports, not big hubs where you can get the killer two hour lines. The TSA has handed back screening at a surprising number of airports to private contractors, all of whom wear outfits intended to look like TSA uniforms. There is remarkable inconsistency in procedures from one airport to another, particularly with respect to your shoes, is worse than ever. Don't put your shoes in a bin, do put your shoes in a bin, and they all insist very loudly that whatever their rule is has always been the rule everywhere. A variety of extra cost "trusted traveller" plans may allow people to get through the screening faster, or may just involve waiting in a different line. The TSA makes no promises. If you don't want to go through the X-ray machines, whose safety is nowhere near as clear as the TSA would like you to believe, you can get a light body massage instead. They have a web site with estimated wait times based on averages in previous months, not real time numbers.