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February 2011
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April 2011

You have enough aggravation to deal with when you’re trying to board a flight – the last thing you need is to sabotage yourself by accidentally setting off metal detectors or catching the eye of a TSA agent. But there are a few surprising items you may have packed in your carry-on that could send up a red flag at security.

FOX Business News suggests you check these items or leave them behind:

  • Aluminum Foil Wrappers. Even those tiny wrappers on gum, candy and cigarette packs can set off metal detectors. So, empty your pockets of any foil before passing through one.
  • Headbands. Hidden under the fancy fabric and ribbons of many headbands is a metal frame. Put your headband on the x-ray belt. And don't worry -  you get a free pass for bad hair at the airport.
  • “Airplane bottles” of alcohol. A long flight may seem like the perfect occasion to pull out those little bottles of vodka, but the TSA is looking for potential explosives. If you pack for a few cocktails, make sure the bottles contain less than 3.4 ounces, are the original container, and are contained in a one-quart sized, zip-top bag.
  • Snow globes. They are a great souvenir, but you may want to opt for a t-shirt instead. The liquid contents of most snow globes surpass the 3.4-ounce limit and aren't allowed in carry-ons. If you just have to have that snow globe, it needs to be checked.

For more information on what you should leave at home, visit http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm.


The continuing nuclear threat from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northeast Japan has led to a travel nightmare, as many try to flee the area to avoid radiation exposure.

The plant was badly damaged last Friday when a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit the main island of Honshu. Narita and Haneda Airports are overwhelmed with tourists scrambling to book flights out of the country.

Airlines have issued the following updates to their schedules:

  • Deutsche Lufthansa is diverting flights away from Tokyo to Osaka and Nagoya until the weekend

  • Taiwan's EVA Airways is cancelling flights to Tokyo and Sapporo until the end of March

  • United Continental has cancelled flights to Sendai

  • Delta Air Lines has suspended flights to and from Tokyo’s Haneda airport. Its Tokyo-Narita hub continues to operate normally.

  • Qantas, SAS, Alitalia and KLM airlines have temporarily moved Tokyo flights to Osaka or added an intermediate stop to Tokyo

  • United Airlines and Continental Airlines are maintaining their normal schedules and monitoring the situation

  • American Airlines is maintaining its normal schedule, but offers customers the option to change their travel plans.

The U.S. State Department is sending chartered planes to Narita and Haneda airports to begin evacuating U.S. citizens beginning March 17th.  There will be a limited number of seats available, and priority will be given to passengers with medical emergencies or severe medical conditions.

Passengers will be taken to a “safe haven” and are expected to make their own way home from that point. Payment is not expected upon boarding, but passengers will be expected to reimburse the government at a later date. The State Department also warned those planning to board evacuation planes to "be prepared for a substantial wait at the airport” and to “bring food, water, diapers and other necessary toiletries."

The Travel Insurance Select plan available through USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services includes Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, and Travel Delay coverage due to the Insured’s residence or destination being made uninhabitable by natural disaster. The plan must have been purchased before Thursday, March 10, 2011, for coverage to be in effect.

Policyholders affected by the earthquake can also receive emergency travel assistance for things such as flight and hotel booking, wire transfers, message relay and more by calling 1-866-346-1803 or 1-715-342-3541 (collect). Assistance representatives have access to up-to-date information regarding airline schedules and airport closures, and can help insured passengers make alternate travel arrangements.


A large magnitude earthquake has occurred near the east coast of Honshu, Japan, on Friday, March 11, 2011, creating mass devastation and death. This also triggered a large tsunami that affected many countries. Google has created a Crisis Response site for the affected area that provides news, maps, and other resources, including a person finder tool.

The Travel Insurance Select plan available through USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services includes Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, and Travel Delay coverage due to the Insured’s residence or destination being made uninhabitable by natural disaster. The plan must have been purchased before Thursday, March 10, 2011, for coverage to be in effect.

Policyholders affected by the earthquake can also receive emergency travel assistance for things such as flight and hotel booking, wire transfers, message relay and more by calling 1-866-346-1803 or 1-715-342-3541 (collect). Assistance representatives have access to up-to-date information regarding airline schedules and airport closures. They can help insured passengers make alternate travel arrangements.


As civil unrest continues to spread throughout the Middle East, many travelers are losing money as they are forced to cancel international trips.

Under most travel insurance policies, civil unrest is specifically excluded. Many travelers found themselves stranded a few years back when protests shut down the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. Having believed their policies covered cancellation and delays, many were shocked when told they would not be reimbursed due to civil unrest exclusion clauses.

When traveling internationally, it is important to make sure your travel insurance policy does not make specific exclusions. USI Affinity’s “Cancel for Any Reason” benefit covers cancellations due to anything from civil unrest to just changing your mind.

In most states, “Cancel for Any Reason” is included with Travel Insurance Select's Elite Option. It can also be added to the Basic or Plus Options.

For more information, visit the “Cancel for Any Reason” page or call (800) 937-1387.


Most business travelers will travel more in one year than the average person will in a lifetime. And standard medical and travel insurance won’t cover many of the risks your small business’s frequent travelers are exposed to.

USI Affinity has been providing travel insurance to business travelers worldwide for over 35 years. We know the unique risks business travelers face, and offer coverage that will protect you and your employees wherever your travels take you.

Our USI ASSIST program offers unique travel coverage for employees of small businesses like yours.  Our comprehensive services include:

  • Emergency Travel Assistance
  • Identify Theft Protection
  • Personal Security Assistance
  • Travel Medical Assistance
  • VIP Concierge Services
  • Worldwide Travel Assistance
  • Security Evacuation and Out of Country Emergency Medical Expense for international travelers

And enrolling is quick and easy! There are just six short questions and coverage is guaranteed and confirmed the same day it’s purchased. And payment is accepted online!

For more information call (800) 937-1387.