POSTED 14 MARCH 2008- 7:30am HST

Well Bigshot! Aren't you special?

image above: Portion of splash screen on website.

The Biometric Cataloging of Americans at Home
by Dahr Jamail on 11 March 2008 in

"Avoid the hassle of airport security every time you fly."

This is the rhetoric being used to entice U.S. citizens to voluntarily provide their biometric information to the U.S. government.

The program, called "clear," is being installed at airports around the country now. For a little background on this, view a post at this website from September 2005, called Securitizing the Global Norm of Identity: Biometric Technologies in Domestic and Foreign Policy .

In Fallujah, the cataloging of human beings has been involuntary since the U.S. siege of that city in November 2004. Having retina scans, fingerprinting and bar-code IDs is mandatory there for Iraqis.

But now, in the "homeland" of the United States, you too can join the happy club of those giving their biometric data to the federal government. Just bring two forms of government issued identification to your local Clear airport or various downtown location, enroll, pay the $128 fee, wait 2-3 weeks, and then if you are accepted, step up to your nearest scanner, and try not to blink as your retina is scanned.

image above: A CLEAR airport retinal scan station. From

These kiosks are planned for airports in New York, Denver, Oakland, and many others.

So, no need to be intimidated by the government's desire to use biometric data to catalog U.S. citizens, (or Iraqis for that matter), as you can rest more peacefully knowing you are now more secure.



POSTED 14 MARCH 2008- 7:15am HST

by Juan Wilson on 14 March 2008

Just in case you have been wondering about the future of air travel, I suggest you see what the rich people are buying these days to assure their comfort and continued service in the sky above us.

As an example check out the Blue Star SkyCard offered by private air carrier Blue Star Jets. For a deposit of as little as $50,000 you can get a "free" meal and consierge services on you private jet flight. The company's motto is

"Any jet. Any time. Any place."


Blue Star Jets - Private Jet - SkyCard™
The Blue Star Jets SkyCard offers unprecedented convenience and flexibility for all your private jet needs. As a cost-effective alternative to the high cost of fractional aircraft ownership, the SkyCard entitles members to special privileges and services designed to make your private jet charter experience the best it can be.

One look at the SkyCard vs. Fractional comparison illustrates the overwhelming benefits of the Blue Star Jets SkyCard.

The Blue Star Jets SkyCard Program offers:

Five levels to match your personal and business private jet travel needs each card level offers special charter jet services on Blue Star Jets, including free upgrades allows you to extend available SkyCard flight privileges to anyone in your family or company one SkyCard is all that you need for any private jet flight your own personal travel consultant personal concierge to assist with travel, dining and entertainment needs The SkyCard program has:

no membership fees
no aircraft acquisition costs
no monthly aircraft management fees
no long-term contractual commitments


To see what you can get as bonus services (for up yo a million dollar deposit) see the chart below. Ah! To be a jet setter in an age of paucity.



POSTED 14 MARCH 2008- 7:15am HST

Doha airport creates no-queue solution
by Julie Clothier on 12 June 2006 for CNN

Premium class passengers to get special treatment.

Few would disagree that airports and queuing now go hand in hand, with passengers facing long lines for security checks even if they are flying in business class.

Qatar Airways has come up with a way of reducing these lines, by creating a terminal just for business and first class passengers at Doha International Airport, which will open at the end of June.

Airline CEO Akbar Al Baker said: "The new terminal for premium passengers will be a big boost for Qatar Airways. It is the first of its kind, not only in the Middle East, but anywhere in the world."

Al Baker said the idea was to process passengers through immigration and security as quick as possible and to provide relaxing pre-boarding facilities and services, including separate duty free shops, showers and a spa area.

"For business travelers, we will have a conference room and meeting rooms together with secretarial services, as well as free access to Internet stations within the terminal," he said.

According to a survey of business travelers by marketing agency YPBR, four in 10 (or 37 percent) said new airport security measures make business travel a big hassle.

One in six said they flew less for work because of this.

And more and more business travelers are opting for low-cost airlines, most of which have only economy class seats.

According to the Barclaycard Business Travel Survey, 30 percent of work-related flights taken by British business people are now with budget carriers.
Qatar Airways is hoping to lure some of those back to business class by giving passengers special treatment and cutting out the hassles of long lines.

A new Doha International Airport is due to open at the beginning of 2009. The new premium class terminal is part of a $200 million upgrade to the existing airport, where the arrival and departure halls are being expanded to cope with the increasing number of passengers.

Doha is also host to the Asian Games in December, which is expected to attract an influx of visitors.

Qatar Airlines spokesman Nawaf Al-Tamimi told CNN the carrier decided to build the new terminal to reduce congestion for higher-paying passengers, which would also ease the pressure on facilities used by economy class passengers.

"We are expecting a lot of VIPs during the Asian Games," he said. "The idea was to invest in a space for business and first class passengers to give them special treatment and help save them time, to make checking in easier."

Other services at the new terminal included extra car parking facilities and more drop-off bays to reduce traffic congestion.

He said if the idea was a success, the airline would look to creating something similar in the new Doha airport.

Malcolm Ginsberg, frequent traveler and editor of Air & Business Travel News, welcomed the new terminal.

He said airlines were aware of the extra time and patience needed for security checks, but because most airports were built before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, they had little room to accommodate the checks.

He said queuing in cramped spaces was unpleasant, and he had been in "fast track" queues for business class passengers at some airports that were longer than those used by economy class passengers.

"The main thing for a business traveler is to make life as easy as possible," he said. "The problem is that airports that were designed more than five years ago, they just don't have the space for their security operations."

He said other measures airlines could take to make the life of business travelers easier were improved on-the-ground services.

Indian carrier Jet Airways and Bahrain-based Gulf Air both offered good transfer services for passengers once they landed, Ginsberg said.