The thousands of federal air marshals who patrol the skies on selected flights won a concession today from the Department of Homeland Security -- one they say will help them remain undercover. The issue was how they dress and where they stay, to avoid calling attention to themselves.
The marshals have long complained that a strict dress code was making them stand out, especially on flights full of vacationers. From now on, they can jettison the standard blue blazer and wear what they want, provided their clothes still conceal the weapons they carry.
How they BOARD the planes will also be reviewed, to make them less obvious to waiting passengers.
And they'll be allowed to stay in the hotels of their choice, instead of all checking into the same place, which they claimed compromised their undercover status. One hotel they were required to stay in under the old rules actually had a sign out front that said, "Welcome Federal Air Marshals."