In Brief: Frequent flier security checks and a model airport
The TSA may let frequent fliers keep their shoes on, the world's most elaborate model airport debuts in Hamburg, Cathay Pacific plans a global revamp and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
The Transportation Security Administration may let frequent fliers keep their shoes on
The US government is "working on a concept" that could let "trusted travellers" keep their shoes on and leave laptops in their bags at airport security checkpoints, reports Scott McCartney in the Wall Street Journal. The plan would identify these trustworthy travellers based on airline records about how often they fly. Any flier granted special status could use new, expedited screening lines at selected US airports.
We can't decide: Are frequent fliers the right people for the government to favour because they use the system the most? Or would it be unfair for the TSA to clean up its unwieldy security regulations for only the select few? Talk with us on Twitter @BBC_Travel.
A truly model airport
Today's European papers have detailed photos from yesterday's opening of the world's most elaborate miniature model airport at Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany. It took six years of create at a cost of 3.5 million euros.
Cathay Pacific plans re-vamp
Chief Executive John Slosar revealed plans to launch a "New Cathay" by 2013, with all flights having Wi-Fi service, says Hong Kong's The Standard. Seats will be redesigned, and flight attendants will receive new uniforms. In the meantime, on 1 September, Cathay Pacific debuts service from O'Hare to Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Manila, Shanghai and Taipei. First-class tickets start at $10,241 roundtrip. To quote analyst Jared Blank, "In case you were wondering why you bother with frequent flyer miles, this is why."
Booking hotels through Facebook
Good news: Omni Hotels has become the first chain to allow travellers to book rooms through its Facebook page. Even better news: You don't have to become Omni's "friend" in order to do it.
The mega re-tweet
We scour Twitter to highlight a standout travel tweet.
"FACT: Virgin Australia has NEVER lost a bag #newvirgin"
-- @winglets747, Will Horton, who covers Australia/New Zealand/Pacific news for Flightglobal. He was sharing the joke made by another analyst during the ceremony in which Virgin Blue was renamed Virgin Australia and was about to take its first flight under the new brand.