Avoid it if you can

Those duty-free shops will be writing their letters shortly:

“Air New Zealand Offers Round-the-World Routing Avoiding the U.S.” That was a recent headline from U.K.-based Business Traveler magazine. For the past several years, fliers bound from Australia and New Zealand to Europe by way of U.S. stopovers have been raising a ruckus about security policies that require all passengers, even those merely in transit to other countries, to clear U.S. immigration formalities — a process that includes fingerprinting, photographing and baggage rechecking. Air New Zealand has responded with the launch of a service from Auckland to Europe with a hassle-free transfer at Vancouver, British Columbia, eliminating its long-standing Auckland-Los Angeles-London route. Air Canada is following suit with a nonstop Vancouver-Sydney flight, bypassing its traditional layover in Hawaii, which, in the words of the magazine, “will enable global travelers to avoid the United States.” — Ask the Pilot by Patrick Smith, salon.com

This is probably only the tip of the iceberg.

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