Wow. The past quarter has been a busy one for airline and travel news. In case you missed any of the stories here’s a recap.

Another New Rule from the TSA

If you travel regularly by plane you certainly know about the restrictions on liquids in your carry-ons. Liquids are strictly limited to 3.4-ounce containers and they must be in a quart-sized bag. Now there’s another new regulation to consider if you are flying internationally.

As of June 30 this year, the TSA has asked foreign airports to place more scrutiny upon fliers traveling into the United States with more than 12 ounces of powder in their carry-on bags.

This means that everything from cosmetics to baby powder and anything else in powder form will be placed under heavier scrutiny.

The new rules don’t apply to flights departing from the United States or any of its territories and are not enforced on domestic flights.

An Apple a Day

Remember early this spring when the Colorado woman was fined $500 for taking an apple through customs when returning home on a flight from Paris?  Here’s an update. The fine has been rescinded and her global entry status has been reinstated.

Her Congressman heard about the penalty, decided it just didn’t sound right, so he got involved. Congressman Ed Perlmutter met with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and the U.S. Department of Agriculture agents. His argument was effective. The fine and penalty were reversed.

This story began when Crystal Tadlock failed to declare on her customs form the package of apple slices Delta had given her. She wasn’t hungry at the time so she put the package in her carry on. The customs agent found them when her bag was randomly selected for inspection.

There are rules against bringing produce into the U.S., but in this case, the apple was given to her by an airline and it was wrapped in plastic.

Updating Support Animal Rules

2018 has been the year of conflict between support animal owners and the airlines. Animals claimed for support went far beyond cats and dogs. One of the most unusual choices was a fully-grown peacock that, incidentally, was not allowed on the plane.

New rules also govern animals traveling in the cargo hold on United. Those rules are designed to protect both the animals and airline employees. The rules restrict flying dog and cat breeds that are more vulnerable to changes in air quality and temperatures.  Employees will now be protected from bites and scratches from larger animals.

Starting in July Delta will restrict all pit bull-type dogs from traveling as service or emotional support animals. The airline said the pit bull ban and the new emotional support animal limit are “the direct result of growing safety concerns following recent incidents in which several employees were bitten.”

The crackdown is on. Most airlines will only now fly dogs and cats — no rats, geese, snakes, or other “household” species.

Bottom-line, if you’re flying with animals this summer, check with your airline well before your trip begins. The rules are constantly changing and evolving.

REAL ID Rules

The clock is ticking. The rules are about to tighten on acceptable IDs needed to board airlines and go into federal buildings.

After 9/11 Congress passed the REAL ID law. It’s designed to help standardize driver’s licenses across the states and it also requires states to keep drivers’ documents such as birth certificates and social security numbers on file. Ideally, the law would help to tighten security and decrease fraud.

To be in compliance states must be able to issue new documents by October 2020. That’s when the new law takes effect.

Not all states – 18 including Missouri – are working to be in compliance. Most of those states have been given an extension to begin the process but that extension in Missouri expires this fall. Unless the state gets another extension, residents will have to haul their passport with them to board even domestic flights and enter all federal facilities.

Other forms of identification will be valid. Military IDs, passports, and green cards may still be used. Non-compliant driver’s licenses can still be used to drive.