August 24, 2006, - 4:20 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Almost 5 years since 9/11, it was well past time for the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) to drop its dress code, requiring Air Marshals to wear suits at all times while traveling, etc.
Today, that finally happened and other changes for the better were also announced by the FAMS. ABC’s Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz report:
The elimination of the dress code is one of a number of significant operational changes announced in a message to air marshals today by the director of the Federal Air Marshal Service, Dana Brown. . . .
Effective Sept. l, air marshals will be allowed to “dress at your discretion, recognizing that the manner of dress should allow you to blend in and not direction attention to yourself,” according to Brown’s message.
Brown also said air marshals will be free to select their hotels. Under the previous policy, air marshals were required to stay at the same hotel, where their names were often kept on a roster visible to the public at the front desk.
Brown told the marshals the service is also considering changes in boarding policies, “which unfortunately do not lend themselves to simple solutions or immediate, unilateral decisions.”
Air marshals had complained passengers could easily spot them because they were required to show their badges publicly at the airline check-in counters and were forced to board in advance.
On recent flights out of Washington, D.C., air marshals have been permitted to board with passengers so that they blend in.
We know our friends in the FAMS will be happy about the good news. The dress code and the other conditions now being changed made them more obvious and visible to possible terrorists and others on planes.
Sounds like Dana Brown is a marked improvement over past FAMS leadership. The full Brown announcement/memo with details of all the changes is here.
Tags: ABC, airline check-in counters, Brian Ross, D.C., Dana Brown, Debbie Schlussel Almost, director, Federal Air Marshal Service, Rhonda Schwartz, Washington