TSA Giving Travelers An Option To Skip The Freedom Fondle For $100
If you’re not fond of the long TSA screening line, or the rubber-gloved rub down/nude scan at the end of it, you have an option to skip the entire process. But it’ll cost you $100:
The Transportation Security Administration is rolling out expedited screening at big airports called “Precheck.” It has special lanes for background-checked travelers, who can keep their shoes, belt and jacket on, leave laptops and liquids in carry-on bags and walk through a metal detector rather than a full-body scan. The process, now at two airlines and nine airports, is much like how screenings worked before the Sept. 11 attacks.
To qualify, frequent fliers must meet undisclosed TSA criteria and get invited in by the airlines. There is also a backdoor in. Approved travelers who are in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s “Global Entry” program can transfer into Precheck using their Global Entry number.
TSA says it also wants as many people as possible in Precheck, which is still in pilot-testing phase. Both agencies say the programs can enhance screening of people they know nothing about if they can move low-risk people who submit to background checks out of the main queues.
“We can reduce the size of the haystack when we are looking for that one-in-a-billion terrorist,” said TSA Administrator John Pistole.
Jazz Shaw says he likes the idea. I’m not so sure.
This sounds similar to a private sector service I saw offered in Denver when I flew through last year. It’s called Clear, and apparently it allows you to expedite the screening process (I saw a dedicated line in Denver just for Clear passengers) in exchange for an annual fee.
Clearly, that’s the free market rising to meet demand for a less irritating airport security experience. But what about the government charging you a fee to skip the TSA’s sweater-vested minions? I’m not sure I like it.
I don’t like the idea of the federal government inserting itself between private passengers and private airlines as the arbiter of who travels and who doesn’t, and then charging a fee if you want to skip their notoriously awful screening process. It has the stink of a shakedown for money, to me.
Don’t want your goodies juggled by a federal employee? Pay the tax.
I’d rather see the federal government get out of the airport security game entirely. Nobody has more of an interest than an effective screening process than the airlines, who were devastated by the 9/11 attacks. Let them find the right balance between effective security and customer service.Tags: airport security, big government, clear, freedom fondle, tsa