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Before You Go...

For Sunday, July 28, 2013

By McClatchy News Services


TSA gizmo will randomly sort fliers

In the foreseeable future, fliers can expect to be "randomized" by the Transportation Security Administration.

That means an electronic device would randomly direct travelers to different screening lines.

One reason these "randomizers" are needed, federal officials said, is so TSA officers can't be accused of profiling passengers when they direct some fliers to a line for regular screening and others to a line for a faster, less intrusive search.

In many airports the TSA operates special screening lines where travelers don't have to remove their shoes, belts and jackets or take laptops and liquids out of carry-on bags. These lines are usually reserved for frequent fliers who submit an application with their background information.

Passengers who are chosen for extra screening by explosives-sniffing dogs or "behavior detection officers" won't be allowed to use those faster lines, but the randomizer could sort all other passengers, officials said.

Officials said they didn't yet have an estimate on when the randomizer might appear at airports.

Pilfering from hotels common

Most likely everyone who has stayed at a hotel has, at some point, walked out with a few bars of soap or miniature bottles of shampoo stuffed into their luggage.

But 35 percent of global travelers say they make off with more valuable hotel amenities, such as towels, lamps, robes and bedding, according to a recent survey by the hotel booking site

People from some countries pilfer more than others. Danish travelers are the least likely to pocket hotel property; Colombian travelers came in at the bottom of the honesty ranking, according to the survey of 8,600 travelers from 28 countries and cities.

When asked about taking from hotels, 88 percent of Danish travelers said they had never pocketed hotel property, according to the survey. But when they do steal, the most common items taken by the Danes are magazines and books, the survey found.

Only 43 percent of Colombians say they have never taken from a hotel, and when they do filch, they go after magazines and books, too.

The U.S. and China were matched in the honesty ranking, with 66 percent of American and Chinese travelers saying they had never taken from a hotel. Sticky-fingered Americans typically take linen and towels. Chinese usually take furnishings, the survey said.

Hugo Martin / Los Angeles Times

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