(Virgin Atlantic)
Coming & Going

Get through security faster; prevent blood clots on flights

TSA expands program

The Transportation Security Administration has announced that it will add all three Washington area airports to its expedited screening program.

The PreCheck initiative, which has been operating as a pilot program in seven airports, allows travelers to move through airport security quickly in exchange for advance vetting by the TSA.

The program will be available to fliers on more airlines as well. US Airways, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines will join current participants Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.

A total of 28 airports are part of the PreCheck expansion, which is scheduled to roll out over the course of the year.

New blood clot advice

Economy class syndrome? It’s a bit of a misnomer, according to the American College of Chest Physicians.

Travelers have long been warned of the risks of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or blood clots. The conventional wisdom used to be that those of us seated in steerage — er, economy — on planes were at a higher risk of developing clots because of our more cramped quarters.

Now the physicians’ group says that the biggest risk factor is how long you go without moving. People on flights of longer than eight hours should be particularly aware of the dangers of DVT, as should passengers in window seats, who are more likely to be trapped in place for extended periods.

The recently released guidelines also suggest that dehydration and alcohol intake cannot be directly linked to an increased risk of clots.

Travelers are more likely to develop a clot if they are pregnant, obese, elderly or recovering from surgery. Certain medications, such as birth control pills, can also increase the risk.

For more information on DVT risk factors and how to prevent blood clots, go to www.chestnet.org/accp.

Travel ticker

Virgin Atlantic plans to open a new 10,000-square-foot “clubhouse” at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in March. The space will be next to the airline’s gates. Features will include a spa, a bar and a members club.

Becky Krystal

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