The National Business Travel Association has released a white paper on the overall effect of CAPPS II and security-related privacy issues on travel, including information that corporate travel managers and meeting planners should take into account for the future.
Some of the conclusions:
-While the pre-screening and biometric identification techniques are likely to speed up security lines, increase passenger confidence, and reduce costs for TSA, CAPPS II is also likely to cost airlines "significantly more" than the $150 million they’ve spent annually on CAPPS. In addition, critics worry that the provisions that allow federal agencies to share information from the security checks "could lead to information being used for purposes other than security." NBTA also says the airline ticket taxes and fees paid by business travelers have increased 90 percent since 1989, as compared to a 16 percent increase in base fares; more than a quarter of the current cost of a typical ticket is composed of taxes and fees, according to NBTA.
For meeting managers, this could result in more attendee reluctance to travel to meetings because of higher costs, but it is unclear whether this disadvantage will be offset by the decrease in hassles in the security lines, or made more disadvantageous by what some will undoubtedly perceive as intrusive security measures.
-Longer wait times and costs for visas to enter the United States, plus a long appeal time for those whose visas are denied because of stolen identity or other errors. For meeting managers whose U.S.-based events include a large contingent of international attendees, this could dry up the foreign attendee pipeline by increasing the costs, effort, and amount of time it takes to get cleared to travel to the United States. In addition, it could curtail U.S. attendee participation in non-U.S.-based meetings if other countries reciprocate, as Brazil already has.
In short, says the white paper, "The forthcoming implementation of CAPPS II augurs further challenges for already beleaguered road warriors." And meeting managers.
For more, look for the June issue of Medical Meetings.