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Should the TSA adopt a “one line” policy?

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Gordon Moore is confused — and angry.

Just before he boarded a recent flight in Portland, Ore., he was met with a crowd of passengers queued up at the TSA screening area.

“I saw a separate security line for first and business class travelers, staffed by at least two TSA employees,” he says. “They seemed to be doing nothing.”

He adds, “The airlines can do whatever they want, but all of us pay for the TSA through our taxes. By what right do they provide priority service for affluent travelers?”

The TSA is strangely quiet on the issue of preferred screening, but several commentators have also raised this issue in the past.

Even if airlines subsidize these VIP lines, why should a federal agency participate in such a program? Isn’t the two-class system the airlines have instituted enough caste nonsense for a day?

I agree with Moore. Whether he saw a first class line or one of those newfangled Pre-Check lines, where “prescreened” passengers get to experience a more civil version of the TSA — minus the “take-off-your-shoes,” “remove-your-laptop,” and “walk-through-the-poorly-tested-scanner” part — it’s still painfully obvious that the TSA’s lines are a total mess.

Maybe it’s time to go back to something simpler. Like one line.

Oh, I know the elites and the airline employees will howl if the TSA does it, but my “one passenger, one line” idea makes some sense. If the goal is to get the lines moving faster for everyone (that is presumably what the TSA wants) then it’s certainly worth considering.

One line would eliminate the Pre-Check boondoggle. The TSA should be running its background checks on all passengers before the flight and singling out the dangerous ones for an extra once-over — not the other way around. And with the influx of cash the TSA is now collecting, we shouldn’t have to pay an extra $85 for the agency to do its job.

Also, a one-line policy would eradicate a “special” class of passengers that don’t really deserve special treatment. Elites, employees and flight crew members should stand in the same line and be subject to the same screening requirements as everyone else. Nothing would lead to common-sense reform faster than an unhappy pilot’s union complaining that its members have to pass through the silly and unproven full-body scanner.

It might also curb the entitled attitude of flight crews, who seem to think they deserve to get through those security lines faster. On my last flight, as I was loading my bags on to the conveyor belt for scanning, a flight attendant stepped in front of my seven-year-old daughter and dropped a rollerboard on the belt in front of me without saying a word. Then she marched through the magnetometer.

An “excuse me” certainly would have gone a long way, if for no other reason than to show my daughter that manners matter.

And sure, if I’d raised any objections, the attendant would have told me she deserved to cut the line because she was on her way to work. But I happened to be on my way to work, too, and I had to stand in a 20-minute line. Who really cares what the purpose of your trip is?

Having passengers like Moore and irate flight attendants and elite members all piling on the TSA to get things moving faster is the right kind of pressure on the agency. Its solution, until now, has been to split us into factions and to try to make the loudest and most influential groups happy while hanging the rest of us out to dry. Elites get Pre-Check; people in wheelchairs get to cut the line; pilots on duty are exempt from a lot of the screening hassle.

Classic divide and conquer.

I’m willing to bet the first class passengers flying the same day as Moore did not complain that they had a line and two private TSA agents to themselves — and that’s exactly my point.

The TSA’s security circus won’t end until we are all standing in the same long line. Perhaps it’s time to eliminate the special privileges that are only making the TSA a slower, more inefficient agency.

Should the TSA adopt a "one line" policy?

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at chris@elliott.org. Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • polexia_rogue

    YES WE NEED 2 lines!

    on SEVERAL occasions i have had airlines say “the flight has been delayed more then 6 hours and since this is a 10 hour flight we need to call in a BRAND NEW CREW– please wait, they should be arriving shortly. as soon as all 4 for them get here we can depart.”

    if a flight attendant needs to run through TSA to get to MY flight- go for it.

    also if i want to pay extra for first class TSA i should be able to. do i pay 85$? no i pay 100-150, per ticket (because i only travel once a year at the most.) this does not require a back ground check, and it gets me to the gate faster.

    if you do not wan to pay extra- get to the airport early.- there is plenty to do.

  • http://www.everybodyhatesatourist.net/ everybodyhatesatourist

    Thanks for proving his point. You aren’t more important than anyone else, no matter how much money you spend.

  • PsyGuy

    Oh you definitely want 2 lines, but 3-4 would be better, because you don’t want to be stuck behind me at security, especially on a domestic flight. I usually travel with 3 laptops and other technical equipment that is “suspicious” getting them all out and out of their padded sleeves and turned on takes a long time. Additionally, when flying domestically I don’t have a US drivers license or ID, and I don’t fly with my passport, so the ID I use is my japanese residency card, which despite being a government identity always means someones got to call over a couple of supervisors then they have to scratch their head, then a senior supervisor comes over after being called on the radio and says “okay were going to do a 1too1 identity verification procedure” where they ask me questions such as which of the following addresses have you lived at before, etc, and includes hand searching all my carry-on luggage and swabbing it for explosive, chemical and biological residue They do this in line or near to it so it slows everyone down (it takes 2 TSA agents to do this). On top of that I always have the dreaded 4 S’s on my boarding pass, if I have to use paper boarding passes. So more lines is definitely better.

    I think pilots should be completely exempt from screening, if they wanted to destroy a plane they don’t need anything but themselves to do it, most of those who are rated Federal Flight Deck Officers have access to a firearm anyway.

    I think flight attendants should be able to cut in line as well, they have access to “crew” processing at immigration in many countries, and I don’t want to make someone who’s in a position to boot me off a plane if i “upset” them for any reason that makes them “uncomfortable” or “scared” so having them in as nice a mood as possible is my preference. Sure they should apologise or say excuse me, but yeah they should get “cutsies”.

    As for the 2 TSA agents in the premier line, they should be working but maybe they were doing “behavioral analysis” which looks just like doing nothing. Maybe they were discussing an important security matter that might have saved us from a terrorist attack. TERRORISTS people, you can’t relax because that’s when they attack, is when your guard is down. Of course the TSA works there hasn’t been a successful terrorists attack using a commercial aircraft since they started protecting us. Maybe they were on break, and they are so dedicated they took their break near their work area.
    Even if they weren’t really working, can you blame them the job is worse than working at McDonalds.

    As for the first class passengers, what they need is a special lounge ina first class hub they get to sit and relax in until after the economy passengers have boarded, where they are served wine, beer, drinks, sushi, and are entertained and then are screened while in the lounge. Afterwords they are transferred by shuttle to the plane already pushed away from the gate to the runway where the plane is ready to take off, that way if there is a mechanical issue they won’t be inconvenienced having to wait at the gate and if there is one they can quickly change their flights without having to deboard or wait hours for the problem to be fixed.
    I also believe the only way to get first class seats is to pay for them at full fare, no points, no upgrades, etc.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Its a question of ideology v. efficiency. Which side of the fence do you fall on?

    Ideology prefers one line as more egalitarian. Mostly true, but highly inefficient. It’s the same reason why the grocery store has a 15 items or less, no checks line. A person with 10 items paying cash or credit will likely take less time than a person with 50 items paying with a check. More people will be processed faster by separating out the faster moving people from the slower ones.

    The issue about crews is silly. Of course the crews are entitled to priority. That’s just common sense. How stupid would it be to hold up an entire plane full of people, possibly disrupting the flight network because the pilot or flight attendants are held up in security.

    Every government office that immediately comes to mind that has security lines permits the employees to either jump the queue or use a special security line.

    Besides, the government gives preferential treatment all the time. Single passenger electric vehicles in car pool lanes anyone?

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    How exactly did Polexia claim to be more important than anyone else? Merely asking for tha the option to jump the queue, much like a car pool lane, an option available to everyone.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    OK, two quick observations. First, I love the fact that we can agree to disagree in a polite way. Second, while the comments are all in favor of having at least two lines, the poll favors one line. Carver, isn’t there a word for that in Latin?

  • FQTVLR

    Flight crews should have priority and most airports designate a lane for them. Most of them are pre-screened for security and that is fine with me. And I have no objection to the pre-check lanes. Sometimes I am in them and sometimes I am not. Sorry, I cannot get worked up about the separate lanes–even those for first class and elite flyers (I seldom fly first and am not elite this year at all.) Most people in the pre-check and first class lines know how to deal with security. Getting through security smoothly without having to deal with the clueless and selfish (who do not prepare for security until they are actually at the belt for their luggage) makes travel smoother for many.

  • Frank Palmer

    What about people in wheel chairs? I have on more then one occasion had to wait because a convoy of wheel chairs pulls up and the TSA decides to take all of them before anyone in the lane I am in. If anything they are more prepared for waiting in lines as they are in a rolling chair.

  • Matt Houston

    My home airport, Charlotte, has created a “Preferred Only” Checkpoint, with the other 4 checkpoints available to all. As CLT is a USAIR hub, the Preferred queue is almost always full. In essence they have created “one line”, as two lines no longer merge near the TSA agent checking ID. This prevents the tension that would arise when a Preferred flyer would jump to the front of the line, as the TSA agent would alternate from Preferred to non-Preferred line. I vote for a one line system, when done in a manner that does not create tension.

  • sirwired

    A few points:
    – The multiple lines (with priority for crew and frequent fliers) significantly pre-dates the TSA. This is not some new injustice pushed upon us by our plutocratic overlords with the co-operation of their government lapdogs.
    – You think the TSA is intrusive NOW, but you think that they should run security checks equal to what the Pre-Check people go through for everybody? I think I’ll take the body scanners over THAT invasion of privacy, thank you.
    – Airline crew members have to go through those scanners every single day, on their way to try and make the flight on-time. I, for one, do not want my flight to be late because one of the flight attendants is stuck in line behind a half-planeload worth of screaming babies and those that don’t understand the instructions on getting through security.
    – At every airport I’ve been through lately, they keep the Pre-Check lines running at full capacity by directing regular passengers through them at a decent clip.

    As long as all those employees stay busy most of the time, I’m willing to cut the TSA a little slack on how those employees are deployed.

    The TSA is inefficient, cannot accomplish their stated goals with how their resources are deployed, and puts too much money and effort in the wrong places. The screening lines not being a egalitarian paradise is not one of their problems.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Of course. Argumentum ad populum – a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or most people believe it. In other words, the basic idea of the argument is: “If many believe so, it is so.”

    Basically, neither the results of the polls or the comments has any bearing on the truth.

  • TonyA_says

    The TSA Will Give You $15,000 If You Can Make the Lines Faster

    Start hacking and submit your entry here:
    innocentive dot com/ar/challenge/9933343

    Quick, you have only 2 weeks left :)

  • jsiess

    The real reason wheelchairs get to cut in line is that the “pushers” at most airports don’t get paid–they live on tips. The more people they push, the more they make.

  • FQTVLR

    What are your thoughts Chris on separate lines or move to the front privileges for families? I have seem family lines at a couple airports. And on a recent flight from ATL I was not given pre-check and went through regular security. Just as I got to the front of the line a TSA agent moved three families with strollers and children under 5 up in front of me. I had already spent nearly 15 minutes in line and was told I, along with the rest of the people in line, that we had to wait for these particular flyers. They were not ready for security. They could not find iPads, computers, liquids. Two adults argued about removing their shoes. All told I waited another 15 minutes because it was too inconvenient for these people to wait in the regular line.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    I’ve seen and also been the beneficiary of these “family” lines. An interesting experiment that was ultimately discarded by the TSA.

    I’m in favor of removing barriers and class differentiations because in the end, it will make all of us, including the TSA, more considerate. These concepts are already being embraced in Europe, where traffic signs and sidewalks are being eliminated in city centers.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    I think it’s over. The TSA can pay me now, thank you very much.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Last time I flew through ATL with the family, they moved us and all strollers to the “handicap” line which winds behind everything else. It took us 30 minutes to get through security, even though the “normal” lines were running at 10. Also, that stupid area didn’t give much room to break down a stroller to get it on the belt.

    (This was July 2014)

  • Raven_Altosk

    I’m all for one line as long as it moves.
    I’ve seen TSA workers sitting around shootin’ the poop in BOS. Line is long, and they’re just standing there talking about someone’s big house warming party and how drunk they all were.

    So classy.

  • y_p_w

    I’d just point out that TSA screeners are just contractors provided by the feds to handle a service paid for by the airport/airlines. There are some airports that are served by private companies. I think the most notable would be SFO.

    My main issues is with the competence and professionalism of some of these personnel working for TSA. I’ve recall once there was one line I was in at a not so busy terminal, and the supervisor wanted to close that line down, which would have just about started a riot.

  • Michael Goff

    That is simply because MOST people have to go through the longer line.

  • Bubbles

    I’m going to pose this. If they consolidate to one line, would that make business and first class fliers less likely to fly those classes? If it does, then the airlines would end up making less revenue and people drop down a class… maybe first to business or business to steerage. With the lost revenue, would the airlines have to raise the prices on the lower priced tickets to make up the difference?

    I’m saying this based on the assumption that (I am picking numbers out of the air): If an economy ticket is $100 and covers maybe 1/100th of a 100 seater plane, and a first class passenger pays $1000, therefore the 1st class passenger is potentially covering 10% of the flight cost allowing the economy flier to only pay that 1% of the cost. Less 10% payers means maybe the economy fliers have to pay a 3 to 4% fare instead.

    I have no clue how the economics work past the fact that paying for luggage is a sham but just wanted to see if there might be something to the idea of how much each passenger pays towards the total cost of the operating costs of a flight.

  • naoma

    Who cares? As long as you get on the plane and in your seat — why fuss with any
    one-line policy? I AM A SMALL blonde older woman. Sometime I wear two watches. I like a fancy dress one & regular one — asked by security “WHY TWO
    WATCHES?” Honestly, they find something about me that they pick on. I do not like the full ex-ray scan but they say I must go through it????? Cancer in my past and I do not trust the machines. But, once through ALL IS WELL. HOPEFULLY!

  • naoma

    I would not even bother.. $15,000 is a pittance — let them solve it themselves.

  • Bubbles

    It would be nice if they let people into lines based experience level. Over the past 5 years, I’ve been a one to four times a month flier and can breeze through security with very very minimal disruption. Even though I work in video and frequently have additional screening, I generally tell the people in advance it may set it off and to do whatever they need to. It’s the first time flier thats 14 or the parent who had 20,000 things on their mind that slows down the line. And I am not angry at them for that by the way. It’s hard being a parent.

    It would just be nice if the people that know what to do, were allowed to do what they do quickly and move on while the unfamiliar are given time to figure it out.

  • NakinaAce

    What we need is about 90% fewer TSA employees and about half an ounce of common sense. Security could be much improved by employing the Israeli system and leaving someone like me a 67 year old retiree with 11 years active duty that had a top secret clearance for all those years alone. Of course that would deprive the political party of Nasty Nancy Pelosi and Scary Harry Reid of a lot of voters. And if we must keep this system then mandate that all elected representatives and federal employees use the exact same system as we do. No more private or military jets, PERIOD!

  • Alan Gore

    I encountered the ‘Pre-Check’ thing a few weeks ago on a trip Phoenix – Boston. On the way home, I got PreCheck and my wife, who needs assistance, did not. It was nice not having to take off my shoes, but the two of us saved exactly zero time because a group moves at the speed of its slowest member.

    Now that we have body scanners, can’t we all start leaving our shoes on now? Just by itself, such a policy would save a lot more time than having multiple lines.

  • http://loafinbaker.wordpress.com Paul Jones

    Ok, I am a TSA Pre-Check member and I do believe it was the best money spent. I do not have the luxury of flying first or business class, and do not fly enough to get upgrades.

    Now, I would not mind one line at all, if people would use a little courtesy, and preparing to go through the line. If you have been standing in the line for 20 minutes, surely you have noticed that you have to empty your pockets, get your shoes off, prepare electronics, etc. Why must some people wait until they get to the bins, and fumble? That is the problem, is people not being prepared.

    Take one person at the entrance to security line, who politely and courteously prepares people to go through the line efficiently, and that would be TSA money well spent.

  • David Brakebill

    Having just traveled to Australia (and back) I have encountered the worst and the best in airlines, both foreign and domestic. Places like LAX continue to be such a total cluster that it really gets under my skin a bit. If they are going to continue to offer multiple lines, they need to do it CONSISTENTLY or not at all. Chris you can probably attest to how well those lines work at MCO…experienced, travelers w/children etc.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    Don, your comment has been flagged for language. Please keep things G-rated for our family audience. Thank you.

  • Alan Gore

    The problem is that if you make any one security line “easier” than the others, that’s the one terrorists are going to pick. Why not use the single-server queue that has now taken over in every single area of private commerce, because it is so much more efficient? Even the Post Office uses it now.

    In this arrangement, you have one line feeding into N service positions. The person at the front of the line chooses the first available service position. You with your three laptops and your kanji ID card are no longer holding anyone else up.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    My home airport is Omaha Eppley Airfield. TSA folks are pretty polite and they do have TSOs going up and down the lines reminding people what to do and pointing to the signs, as the overhead speakers are somewhat hard to understand. And there are STILL folks who remain clueless and stand helpless in the lines!

  • Jayne Bailey Holland

    Ahh.. Frank while we’re at it, lets make all the wheelchairs wait until dark to travel so they won’t be in anyone’s’ way and we won’t have to see them. Make room in security lines for all the young’uns who are in such a hurry to arrive at their gate so they can finish that game of words with friends or candy crush. Poor you- with legs that work having to wait in security an extra two minutes. What about that returning Veteran who is in one of those chairs? Should we make him wait, too? Did you ever hear of Honor Flight? Look it up.

  • Joe

    I only voted ‘no’ because I want the TSA abolished completely, not reformed.

  • SnowWheet

    Frank, I’m pretty sure you were being humorous there, but for anyone who does get annoyed by people in chairs getting “special priviliges”:
    Next time you head through the airport, board and debark your plane, take a second to realize just how difficult traveling would be in a wheelchair… How many stairways, escalators, etc do you have to find workarounds for? How do you get off the plane if you debark on the tarmac? Grab your luggage? Maybe just let that one slide….

  • Ian C

    Can anyone tell me why a pilot has to go through security in the first place? We can create a night mare with just our bare hands. We should go back to 1990s style security and forget about the whole 9/11 lie.

  • NoJets

    I work for an airline but not a member of a flight crew. Not all airports have dedicated lines for crew and airport employees, but some that do are underutilized.

    I have even been pulled out of the regular line when the TSA agent saw my lanyard around my neck, but had the badge inside my shirt. (I was off duty, traveling on leisure.) I was escorted to an empty employee line and on my way.

    In those cases, rather than have a dedicated line, open the line to everyone…but still allow the flight crew and airport employees to “jump the line”.

  • AirlineEmployee

    Simple….Family lines and another line for individual (adult) travelers. I think we can put up with elderly passengers moving a little slower but when I see passengers with small children (which means all the attendant paraphernalia – strollers, car seats, diaper bags, sippy cups, toys, pillows, etc, etc), I cringe. If they are “just” on time or late it’s a nightmare…..and they still have to pull and drag all this stuff to the gate, on the jet bridge, into their seats, overhead compartments…..I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

  • ArizonaRoadWarrior

    Where there multiple lines before 9/11? I have been racking my brains to recall but I don’t think that there were multiple lines before 9/11.

    The problem is adjusting the security lines to compensate for the additional security processes. The additional security processes that were added after 9/11 takes more time. In order to have the same time that it took to clear security before 9/11, you need to add security lanes (I am not talking about lanes for family, elites, etc.). Most airports were built before 9/11; therefore, they lack the ‘real estate’ to have additional lanes. In addition to lack of ‘real estate’, there could be budget issues to remodel their airport to incorporate more security lanescheckpointsetc.

    Another issue is poor management. I can’t tell you how times that I have traveled from PHX where a new TSA Security Agent was being trained during the peak times. How about training a new TSA agent during the slow times instead of backing up the line? In addition to training new agents during peak times, I have witnessed security lanes closed during peak times causing delays and all lanes open during non-peak times.

  • EBennetDarcy

    I agree with one line for the reasons described, but also want to reiterate that one line really should mean ONE line–not only should there not be a separate line based on priority or airplane class paid for, but passengers should not have to choose between separate regular lines. Line psychology suggests separate lines for the same service are a terrible idea. It’s fundamentally unfair because people are subject to the vagaries of their line–maybe their check person is unusually slow, or the person in front of them has an unusual time-consuming problem–and it creates a lot of bitterness to see another line moving multiple times faster than your own. This happened to my parents and me when we were flying out of Nashville. There were four separate TSA lines for regular passengers, and we got in the shortest line only to find out that was a HUGE mistake. Our TSA staff member was chatty and slow, and the line next to us was being served by two TSA staffers rather than just one–it was literally moving four or five times faster than our line. Never have I felt so frustrated in airport security before. That situation should be avoided at all costs.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    I remember seeing a new agent being trained during peak times. What a poor deployment of resources

  • Fishplate

    ” How stupid would it be to hold up an entire plane full of people, possibly disrupting the flight network because the pilot or flight attendants are held up in security.”

    My boss expects me to get to work on time. If ninety minutes before the flight is correct for passengers, then it is also correct for crew.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    I don’t know if 7 miniscule cities in 2006 qualifies as being “embraced”, particularly with the dearth of subsequent articles on the subject.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Thanks for my morning laugh.

  • Bill

    I agree that there should be two lines. I travel abroad for work a lot and invested in the time and money for Global Entry which also allows TSA Pre Check. I am a trusted traveler because I have had additional background checks so I should be able to go through a quicker security process. However having said that I would agree to one line on the condition that people in that line paid ATTENTION. There is normally a TSA agent yelling out instructions about fluids, belts and stuff in pockets etc. whilst people are in line, yet low and behold a large majority of people only start to figure out what they need to do when they finally get to the x-ray machine causing significant delays. By the time I get to the ticket check agent I have phone, wallet belt, watch etc. stuffed away in my carry on so the only thing I need to do is pull my laptop and kick off my shoes. It is simple really.

  • emanon256

    I agree. In fact, we now have a paid express lanes. When I take the highway, I can wait in traffic, or pay $2-5 to take the expels lane on the federally funded interstate. If we are going to make TSA one-line, then we should dismantle all express lanes. Not to mention, my post office has a special line we can pay fro as a business, where we can bring in bulk mail and not have to wait in line. What I advocate for is for TSA to go away, or to treat 100% of every with dignity and respect and use proven safe equipment regardless of how long or short your line it.

  • jim6555

    So regular passengers who have not been pre-screened go through the same line as those who are part of the Pre-Check program. As far as I am aware, no incidents have occurred because these “ordinary” travelers received less of a screening than they would have if they went through the exercises of taking off shoes, taking laptops out of cases and going through a full body scan. This success shows us that those parts of the TSA charade are not necessary to “protect” us. It’s time for the TSA to drop all of the charade procedures and allow everyone to be treated equally using the same procedures that are now used at the Pre-Check lanes.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Exactly, I don’t pay for the express lanes because its not worth it to me. My traffic patterns make it a useless expense. I certainly don’t begrudge those folks who pay for the express lane.

  • ArizonaRoadWarrior

    My 8-YO son could recite the screening rules, what can be left in the bag, what needs to go through machine, etc. when he was four due to the extensive amount of traveling that he did before he started school. He used to ask us all of the times why the other travelers don’t know the rules, pay attention to the announcements, listen to agents, etc.

  • Another Airline Employee

    If we get stuck at the counter with a ticketing issue and have to run a passenger through to the front of the line, we can use the employee line or first-class line to get him/her through. If we have to run to the gate to give something to a passenger, we get through a lot quicker through those lines. Granted, if they’re empty, TSA should use common sense to move people around.

  • Don

    This is a simple case of “line envy”. I paid the $85…. happily. I flew 8 million miles plus during my career. I earned special treatment. The “one liners” would have all of us driving black Chevys and drinking Natural Light. Folks this is not a “classless society”. If it were, it would resemble Soviet Russia or Maoist China, rather than the United States.

  • ArizonaRoadWarrior

    How about requiring a test or CEU or license to fly? Part of the “test” will be teaching manners about not to shouttalk loud into a cellphone; not changing a dirty diaper on the seat next to yours; not to pack the kitchen sink; etc.

  • emanon256

    I concur, and I don’t pay either. I avoid the highways whenever possible :) We are getting a new express lane where they guaranty fast travel. The price will go up and down depending on how many people are on the road so it will always flow freely. There will be a big sign prior to the entrance stating the current price. If its rush hour, they said it might be as high as $20 each way. If someone wants to pay that, go for it.

  • sirwired

    I can’t disagree with that statement… really, the whole charade is pretty pointless since there is a crazy number of people with access to the plane that go through no scanning whatsoever.

  • Bill___A

    I think there are other things to concentrate upon rather than the issue of several lines. Airlines are in the business of catering to various groups of people. They have first class check in, business class check in, regular check in, etc. It is consistent with how the travel system is set up to have separate security lines. Other countries do it too. However, the similarities end there. The TSA is the most unpleasant security infrastructure to go through because they are often yelling things, having people hold their boarding passes in the air, and generally being obnoxious. I have had several good screenings too but 100% of the annoying experiences have been with the TSA.
    I think they should focus on doing up bags properly after they unlock them, not damaging bags, and stopping to steal things – this would be a much greater thing to place an emphasis upon than the Elliott communist method of a single line.

  • Bubbles

    Ah right right right. My bad! You’re right. Thanks for the heads up! Corrected the language.

  • MarkKelling

    Mr Elliott is not advocating to have a single lane in the TSA area, he is wanting there to not be a completely separate line for 1st class and Pre Check and crew and Clear (the private company at some US Airports that has permission to let its members skip to the front of the line), and so on.

    We would only have one type of access to the actual security check with however many actual TSA checkers and scanning machines and lanes required to efficiently get everyone through quickly that everyone is allowed to use. That way when someone who is carrying their entire worldly possessions with them goes through it does not cause the entire process to grind to a halt.

  • emanon256

    I do sort of like that idea, but I think they should use logic in sorting. People with few bags who are experienced travelers get routed to different stations than families and people bring lots of baggage and wearing knee high lace up boots. Sort of like the ski slope designation they tried to use, but never enforced. That will keep it efficient for efficient travels.

    When I was a frequent flyer and could go through the express lanes along with first class passengers, I would often get stuck behind the first class passengers who had 3 suitcases, water bottles in one, full size shampoo in the other, who didn’t know they had to take off their shoes, etc. and appeared they have never traveled before. This often made the short line take longer than the long line. I am all for making it as efficient as possible for everyone.

  • emanon256

    THIS!!!!!

    A friend and I used to be on the same flight every Sunday and we would compete to see how many people we could skip at the conveyer (ie. Put our bags through the x-ray, get them on the other side, and leave while the people we were skipping were still at the conveyor re-combobulating). My record was 5.

  • emanon256

    So this means Sasquatch is real because so many people believe so?

  • emanon256

    IME BOS is the WORST TSA around.

  • bodega3

    I think having some training during peak times is good. It is more intense and stressful than at 1am and you get more ‘things coming up to learn to deal with.

  • PolishKnightUSA

    Great minds think alike and sirwired got to this first. You do NOT want the captain and crew held up in security because they will impact the flights’ departure and the bottom line for everyone.

    The pilot and crew don’t just get on the plane after going through security. They have a pre-flight check and meeting to discuss what times meal service should be done (to avoid areas of turbulence) among other things. They also don’t get paid a nickel for that time but only get paid when the wheels are up.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    You’re in Denver, right? I’ve *paid* the money before to take that express route. I take the toll road through Kansas on my way to Oklahoma. It’s all a matter of priorities. Fast, noncongested traffic – woo hoo!

    Now, paying tolls in Ohio for 1 lane of 45 mph traffic on I-80 the entire length of the state last year? Wish I could have figured out a different routing.

  • emanon256

    At DEN, I usually hear the announcement at least 3 times while in line that I must empty my pockets, remove my belt and shoes, etc. But they have signs up and down the whole line. Most people still seem blind sided when they get to the conveyer belt.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    EWR.

  • gracekelley

    If you think crew should have no way to pass the line by getting to the airport 90 minutes plus early prepare yourself for delays. Fatigue calls will rise. They are released to rest 15 minutes after landing. The new faa rule says that pilots must get 8 hours behind a door resulting in 10 hour minimum overnights but when your released to “rest” while you’re still on the aircraft to a 40 or more minute ride to the hotel yeah hopefully you get the point. This isn’t even going into having to eat shower wind down after multiple take off and landings to sleep and get ready to report not looking like a hot mess etcSure they’ll stand in line while the flights go out late. I see the point and think only crew operating or deadheading should be exempt but crew operating your aircraft should not have to sacrifice any sleep for the sake of your feelings. Sorry

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    Thank you. Didn’t flag you, but appreciate changing the language. I don’t cuss *online* because of the family audience.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    You cannot require a license for manners and common sense. I think most of us would fail. :)

  • MarkKelling

    That is completely false. While the chair pushers work for near minimum wage in many cases, they do get paid. The tips are extra.

  • PolishKnightUSA

    I went through all the comments and here’s my take:

    Trying to make people suffer to change the TSA I don’t think will work. As Elliot’s other column reveals, some people are just tired of fighting the TSA and go with it. “Power on my mobile phone otherwise lose it? Ok. Just let me go already.”

    Priority lanes by crew/airport workers make sense. They are supporting the airport/airline. You WANT them moving quickly because they’re holding up YOU. Now about class distinctions: This brings to mind the fun Seinfeld episode where poor Elaine suffers in economy class. “We should have a society without classes!” But really, I’m thanking first class is there. They pay more for the ticket and help lower the price of mine.

    I think that the higher class line should be open to economy with the caveat that the first class passengers who subsidized the line should get priority and skip to the front. But they shouldn’t just sit there otherwise. That’s how the priority business class section works at check-in: If nobody is in the business class line, then they help economy customers.

    FYI, a lot of economy class passengers have snuck through the business class TSA lanes.

    Side comment/observation about the TSA: Let’s face it, a lot of people are annoyed when old grannies are given full searches or kids are searched but I’m reminded of a story about a guy whose pretty girlfriend was a marijuana mule. She used her boombox radio to bring it in through Tijuana crossing. One of the border agents tried to turn on her radio and it didn’t work.

    She threw a fit and accused the agent of breaking her radio. She said she was going to complain.

    The guy says she got the apology letter from CPB framed on her wall for breaking her radio.

  • emanon256

    I hate I-80 through Ohio, rip off. Everyone is forced to pay.

    Yep, Denver. Depending on my priorities I might pay sometimes. I can happily say I have never once paid for the I-25 express lanes. I did pay for e470 and the Norther Parkway a few times simply for convenience more than speed. I am every curious to see what happens with the new express lane on 36 as people are in an uproar that they might have to pay up to $20 to use it. There is no express lane now, and additional lanes are being built, so the “Free”way will not loose any lanes, it will be the same as before except you have the option of paying the going rate to take the express lane. I will probably never take it, and perhaps the normal highway will go a bit faster because some people will take the express lane, so I can’t possible lose anything by this new express lane being added. In fact, I can gain my a less crowded freeway, and the bus will now get there in half the time as the buss has unlimited access to the express lane.

  • sirwired

    Yes, there were multiple lines before 9/11, I remember seeing them at my home airport, RDU. Crew and Frequent Fliers went through one line, with the other for everybody else.

  • emanon256

    Hmm, EWR has been pretty average for TSA, which isn’t good, they just all seem unhappy. The ID checkers in BOS are always nice, its the opt-out experience that is usually bad, and they have the same power trippy TSA agents who stand around and make things go slowly. I once saw an agent tell someone they couldn’t bring their burrito though because its classified as a liquid, when she left, the TSA agent started eating the burrito.

    Actually MHT was my worst ever experience, but I have only been there twice. It was horrible both times.

  • DavidYoung2

    If ‘First Class’ passengers want to pay for more amenities, including faster security, then why should I care? If people want to pay for Pre-Check, why do I care?

    In America, people who pay more get more. I have no problem with that. And if I choose to pay more to get better service, or faster service, why should anybody else care? Sounds like Mr. Moore has a bad case of the ‘envies.’ Maybe he should pony up next time, or take the time and effort to get Pre-Check, rather than just whining.

  • MarkKelling

    Anyone can buy a pilot’s uniform at a costume store. I’m sure there are multiple places you can buy an ID that will pass the TSA cursory glance. While I am not one of those who thinks that terrorists are hiding behind every fake plant at my local airport trying to sneak on a plane, there are a few out there who would be happy if pilots could just walk on through.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    +1. I was going to write something to that effect. Saves me some typing.

  • MarkKelling

    Maybe a final round of training before the person is left on his own is OK at peak, but don’t stick the new guy out there on his first day.

  • Christopher Goeson

    I disagree for so many reasons… I have Pre-Check and love it. I had to pay my $85 and go through a background screening, and show up for an appointment to be fingerprinted and photographed. Doing all that lets me go through the lines much more quickly. I travel a lot for business and this is a way that I can spend more time at home instead of working. Secondly, I believe flight attendants are only paid for flight time. Making them add another 30 minutes to their day unpaid would suck.

  • MarkKelling

    Then the airlines should take this into consideration and have more pilots and flight attendants to cover these situations. Even now there are many flights I should be on that are delayed by “crew rest” issues.

  • gracekelley

    I’m not understanding the logic behind him wanting flight crew operating aircraft being unable to pass quickly. Their union has been fighting the screening process since the inception but DOD trumps alpa or usapa, twa etc. Or whatever podunk union they have.
    Your ok having someone loosing 2 plus hours of sleep everyday of the trip that’ll be operating your flight? You won’t balk when they start delaying flights to stand in line? This just doesn’t make sense to me at all but I am glad it isn’t just me that seems to think the idea that crewmembers working flights shouldn’t get priority is odd.

  • ShrimpBoy

    “The TSA’s security circus won’t end until we are all standing in the same long line. ”

    No then, not even close.

  • ArizonaRoadWarrior

    Training during peak times is good once the new agent is up to speed and is ready to go solo not during their first day, first week, etc.

  • ArizonaRoadWarrior

    I took my brother-in-law and his family to the airport this past Sunday at PHX. There was a ‘Family’ line at Security Checkpoint C.

  • MarkKelling

    Recently going through security the guy in front of me set off the scanner. He had probably $50 of quarters in his cargo pants. “You mean I have to take all the metal out of my pockets?” People like that shouldn’t be allowed to fly.

  • Miami510

    This is a very interesting topic because it engenders
    introspection; who are we? Are we an egalitarian
    society? Self-interest?

    A few thoughts:

    The normal TSA screening lines work at a slower pace than the paid-pre-check-lines. The regular line would be even slower if all the people who paid for pre-check were in the
    regular line… so in that respect, while the pre-check is faster, if it weren’t there, the regular line would be slower.

    My State has gambling. I don’t gamble, but I realize those who do are relieving me of taxes I would have pay if they didn’t gamble. I see a parallel with the airline security checking. So they are benefitting me as do the pre-checks who allow my, albeit slow line, to go faster.

    Side benefit: I always get called on to remove my shoes. When I tell them I’m years past the age of 75 where that is no longer necessary, I always get a compliment, “You don’t look 81.” Heck, that’s worth something.

    At the risk of “looking a gift horse in the mouth,” I wonder what there is about the magical age of 75 that makes TSA feel a 76 year old wouldn’t be sporting a shoe bomb.

    In many of the posts about TSA, complaints seem to be about, or initiated by surliness. Two thoughts: Would paying officers more get a higher grade/more pleasant group of officers? Do the officers that work at the pre-check line act with a more pleasant
    demeanor because they are dealing with a supposedly privileged group?

  • $16635417

    Except they’ve already reported for work. In many cases the crew checks in for work prior to the security checkpoint. All delaying them does is delay them arriving at their gate to allow a flight to board.

  • MarkKelling

    In many of the airports I fly through, the 1st line and regular line are only separate lines into the same scanners. The 1st line is not a completely separate lane all the way through. So yes the 1st flyers get to skip to the front of the line, but then get stuck along with the rest of us with the baby strollers and the people who have never flown before and those who can’t follow simple instructions.

  • MarkKelling

    Depending on the airport, the Pre Check workers are no more friendly than those in the regular lanes. Some have even been downright rude.

  • gracekelley

    Cover the security line? I lost you. Crew rest issues are a huge problem for every airline right now from regional to majors due to a lack of pilot’s or a lack of the one’s who will accept the conditions of the environment plus the new faa rules. You want to have a reserve crew for every flight at every station? Please elaborate

  • http://silverfang77.tumblr.com/ Silver Fang

    How about no TSA at all?

  • TonyA_says

    I can’t believe we are still arguing over this stuff :-)
    We need chocolates.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    Target store brand Fudge Mint cookies. Tastes just like the Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, and can be bought year-round. Pop them in the freezer. You’ll eat fewer at a time (they’re hidden in the freezer) and the freezing really brings out the taste.

  • emanon256

    Everyone should get the best chocolate, no cheap chocolate. Cheap chocolate should be eliminated.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    +1000. But, how will the masses afford chocolate otherwise? Doesn’t everyone, regardless of income level, deserve the same quality in their chocolate?

    You know, I don’t do snark well. Back to the chocolate.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    Did someone say “chocolate”?

  • Vec14

    I remember a few years ago they tried different security lines for level of experience – everyday traveler, people needing extra time, and frequent travelers to try and speed up some lines – it didn’t work too well, at least from what I saw.

    I am still a fan of multiple lines – as someone who travels outside the country at least once a year, I got GE last year, which also gives me Pre-Check privileges. My interview with CBP was pretty intense – the officer wanted to know how/why a grad student could travel so much. I like to think I earned the right to a faster line, plus I’m one of those travelers who has one carry on and knows the routine – it drives me nuts to be behind someone who is taking forever to get all their stuff out and doesn’t appear to have traveled in the last 10 years (yes, I will admit that may be an elitist attitude).

  • emanon256

    Whoa, good point. Reminds me of the time I was working for a client in NYC that had me wear a name tag on a lanyard. I forgot to take it off and TSA waived me though, I asked why and they said it was because I was an employee. I didn’t want to argue with TSA.

  • jsiess

    wheelchair attendants at CLE do NOTE get paid–they exist on tips.

  • jsiess

    i asked at CLE–they do not get paid. and i think it’s the same at ORD

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    I pay extra to not fly in to or out of EWR. LGA and JFK folks can be humorless, but I’ve found surprising kindnesses in both places over the years. Haven’t flown enough into or out of BOS to form an educated opinion.

  • bodega3

    I agree, but at the same time, I remember all my training before I took a desk at an agency and even if you think you are up to speed, the first month or so is nerve racking and you are slower than later on down the line.

  • emanon256

    Actually one of my worst experiences was a guy at JFK in the Jet Blue terminal. He went off on me for no apparent reason other than I was there at the time he blew up. I asked him for his name and he pushed me and several other TSOs had to jump in. I was let through, but my nerves were rattled. Only bad experience at TSA. LGA has some truly nice people. My favorite were always MSN, best TSOs ever!

  • AJPeabody

    Being inconvenienced by the TSA, with delays and indignities, is essential to its function. As long as this happens, terrorists know that we are thinking of them and fear them. Hence there is less need to actually kill anybody. Should we make things easy again, then we will have made ourselves targets. This, of course, applies only to rational terrorists, who consider themselves patriots working to get their goals reached. The fanatic terrorists who only want to kill will still need to be screened out, but at least there will be fewer risks if we are continually beset by our own TSA terrorists. This may be part of the reason the only known bombing attacks have failed with incompence, as the smart terrorists have already achieved their disruption.

  • BillCCC

    Maybe everyone should wear name tags.

  • Raven_Altosk

    EWR is Satan’s Outhouse.
    The place stinks like…sewage. Or maybe that’s New Jersey, IDK. But I hate that airport.

  • FQTVLR

    If we go to the one line system there should be no separate lines for families. They are no more important than anyone else and parents should be prepared for security before arriving there. My niece is great getting her daughter through security. She learned quickly how to organize things and is all ready when she reaches the screening area. She has everything organized and in one place to get out. I have been through with her and she takes maybe 45 seconds longer at the most than me to put her items out. Planning is the key. Many parents are disorganized at security because they are allowed to be. Allow a bit extra time, but if they are not ready make them get out of the line and let others pass.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    The post by LAX has a separate queue for express mail.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    When I travel, I am happy to use whichever line is shortest. Usually the kiosks are the fastest. I’m always amazed by people who will stand in first class merely for the (perceived) prestige. And I have gotten out of first class and gone over to coach if its faster. I mean really, how sad is your life if you need an ego boost by being in the first class line.

  • GG

    Believe it or not, Singapore does provide a private terminal that provides the same services as what you mentioned in the last paragraph. Assuming you pay for the terminal and fly first (or fly first with Singapore Airlines and use their first terminal) all those facilities (including a private Immigration) are available.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Note to self: Throw unwrapped burrito into trash

  • GG

    What do you mean? Is Sasquatch NOT real….. !!!!

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    SFO, Terminal 2 (American and Virgin) has the best TSA that I’ve encountered.

  • emanon256

    I’ve done that too and been told by the agent that I don’t have to use this line and can go use the first class line. Although at small airports I have been in the first calss line when there is one agent, and people in the long economy line all fuss and complain then they help people in the first class line.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    I thought the family lines were so folks with families don’t slow the rest of us down, i.e. its for our benefit, not theirs.

  • http://www.principledinnovation.com Jeff De Cagna

    This post would be more interesting to me if you had suggested the elimination of the entire security theater process we go through now. That’s a topic worth discussing. As it stands, however, I have no interest in giving up my PreCheck status so I can get stuck in line behind once-a-year travelers who don’t know how to get through the security lines efficiently. I travel enough miles per year that I need to avoid those unnecessary delays. If that makes me an elitist, so be it.

  • The Original Joe S

    I’d like to see whomever made that deal with a guaranteed payoff to the investors spend 50 years in the slammer.

  • The Original Joe S

    There is no chocolate.

  • Mark Carrara

    I probably shouldn’t ask this but I wonder how i got precheck? I’m not alone, I have met several people who all of a sudden had the word precheck show up on boarding passes never applying or filing out paper work. My theory was my Southwest CC. Some others thought it was based on age.

  • emanon256

    Agreed. While I have no problem with what they are doing to 36 and the end result of 36, the deal was horrible and wrong for us all.

  • The Original Joe S

    And the blind guys play golf at night.

  • MarkKelling

    I think they were just hoping for a better tip. :-)

  • The Original Joe S

    I refer to Northern Virginia. Where are you?

  • emanon256

    Colorado. In our case, a private company gets to manage the road and keep all of the proceeds from the express lane in turn for maintaining the road with guaranteed income. In 50 years, they turn the road back over tot the state. Of course, the state has to fit a big part of the bill for adding the new lanes, and the transportation district has to pay the private company for the bus access.

  • MarkKelling

    More flight crews available to cover the situation of late arrivals not getting enough time before having to fly out the next day.

    No, I do not want or expect there to be a reserve flight crew for every flight. That never was the case for any airline at any time in the past and is not practical at any airline now. There just don’t seem to be any extra flight crew members to even cover someone who gets ill.

    Airlines should expect that some of their flight crews will arrive too late at night when ending one day’s work to be ready to fly out on the first flight the next morning. But in the name of cost cutting, all extra employees have been cut out of the plan.

    One flight attendant I know well stopped flying her airline’s flights into HNL because they do not get the time between flights that they used to. Previously, they received 2 to 3 days between their flight there and the flight back. Now, they will fly in arriving at noon or early afternoon and fly out starting at 5 pm the next day. While this is sufficient time to satisfy FAA rules, she hated it because she does not feel rested for the return flight.

  • The Original Joe S

    These deals are testaments to the ineptitude and corruption of those who we elect to govern us. Treat the motorist as a cash cow. Where’s all the tax money from fuel taxes going? General treasury, so they want MORE?

  • emanon256

    Are deal makes no sense unless the politicians who made the deal are getting some kick backs under the table. Apparently it was signed years ago, and no one knew about it until the pre-determiend date showed up. Make a deal now, let the next administration deal with it.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    You are wrong, sir. There IS chocolate. “Chocolate” is my/our whimsical way of saying, “I’m going to go reboot my attitude” when things start getting a little nasty. Sometimes I actually *have* chocolate on hand with which to reboot my attitude, sometimes not.

    So yes, Northern Virginia, there is chocolate. ;-)

  • MarkKelling

    Didn’t even notice an issue with the original posting. Must be selective filtering on my part.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    He substituted “a sham” for the original compound word.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    Northern Virginia is referring to a punchline in a joke about chocolate ice cream, which he so kindly forwarded to me earlier today by email. It’s not G-Rated, so I’ll have to leave it to the imagination …

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    We had “Pre-Check” showing up on our boarding passes every once in a while, starting last fall. Delta, United and Southwest. Kind of like giving out a free sample to get you to buy the full deal. My husband liked it so much that he wanted to apply for and pay for that privilege for the next 5 years. If he goes through Pre-Check, I better do so as well, because as one person said earlier today, a group can only move as fast as its slowest member.

    Look into http://www(dot)tsa.gov/tsa-precheck for details and to see if you live close enough to one of their centers to apply. You pay $85, get fingerprinted and have a background check. If you pass, you get a confirmation number in the mail which you enter into future trips. If you don’t pass, you’re out $85 (which was the subject of an Elliott article a couple of weeks ago). We both passed and I duly entered our numbers into an upcoming air reservation.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    *blush*

    Okay, public show of modesty has been duly noted – you’ve got my email, so go ahead and forward it to me. :-O

  • gracekelley

    The only time I ever had more than 16 hours was international especially days. The 16 hour was maybe one every 3 trips. Otherwise it was 8 once a trip and 10-12.5 the other 3 days. These were followed by 10-14 hour days working 2-4 sometimes 6 flights a day.
    See what I am saying come 1.5-2 hours early OFF THE CLOCK just to preserve feelings. It’s not an entitlement it’s a necessity or you WILL have even more issues with late and cx flights for crew issues. Period. Fatigue calls and time outs. It’s unreasonable to expect flight crew to not be given priority in line.
    Every airline I know of is actively hiring or looking to publicly or through flow through is seeking pilot’s and flight attendants. United not included.
    I’m sorry your trips are being affected I hope things do improve.

  • Kathleen Pierz

    Ironically, you have to remember that the number of passengers, staff, crew and janitors that need to be screened at any give point at any give time is 100% predictable makes the whole mess even more maddening.

    I did not vote for one line simply due to the fact that those who do this every day like crew, McDonald’s employees and serious road warriors might absolutely glow in the dark if once or more a day they had to be scanned by the poorly tested, we can see every detail of your naked body scanners.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    Okay, think I found it . . .

    “A man walks into the local ice cream parlor and tells the attendant he wants a gallon of vanilla, a gallon of strawberry and a gallon of chocolate ice cream.

    “Sorry” says the attendant, “we’re all out of chocolate ice cream.”

    And the joke continues to the naughty worded punch line. Right?

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    That’s it!

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    The rest of the joke, censored, for those whose interest has been piqued:

    “OK, in that case” says the man, “I’ll have a scoop of vanilla, a scoop of strawberry and a scoop of chocolate.”

    “Look, mister, what does the V-A-N in vanilla spell?”

    “Van” he replies, “But what does that have to do with ice cream?”

    “Never mind, what does the S-T-R-A-W in strawberry spell?”

    “Straw” he answers, “But I still don’t understand what this has got to do with my getting the ice cream I want?”

    “What does the {common 4 letter expletive, spelled out} in chocolate spell?” asks the attendant.

    “Wait a minute” says the man, “there’s no {common 4 letter expletive} in chocolate!” {common 4 letter expletive + in = gerund form}

    “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, {insult}, now get out of my store.”

  • bodega3

    SFO’s TSA have been just fine when we have gone through. In fact, one time, when there was an issue with a family member’s ID, one of the TSA came over and stood by us and we just chatted. He made things calmer for all of us. And come to think of it, it was at AA as they moved the family line over there since the UA one was getting too long.

  • emanon256

    I love it!

    Its just like this one concerning a local store called Safe Way.

    How to you fit an elephant into a Safe Way bag?
    How?
    You take the “S” out of Safe, and the “F” out of Way.
    There is no “F” in Way.
    Exactly.

    (Hopefully I didn’t break the family friendly rule).

  • emanon256

    “I see”, said the blind man. As he picked up his hammer and saw.

  • emanon256

    It’s New Jersey.

  • bodega3

    Keep in mind that some of us aren’t in a rush and don’t need to hurry though collecting our stuff.

  • bodega3

    There is the hope that the first class checkin will be faster, but lately I haven’t found that to be the case.

  • emanon256

    But I assume you would pick up your stuff and walk over to the benches, chairs, what have you, rather then stand at the conveyer while peoples stuff piled up behind and slowly counted each penny from the bottom of your bin, checked your e-mail on your phone, slowly put your belt back on, and then re-sorted your magazines/files etc. before return your laptop to you brief case All stuff I have seen people do. There is a difference between not being in a hurry, and slowing everyone else down.

  • FQTVLR

    I am actually for separate lines—-especially pre-check or lines for experienced travelers who are ready at security. But if, as Chris wants, we eliminate all separate lines, then families should not have a special line either. Atlanta tried the family line but too many families got fed up with those that were never ready for security. They headed to other lines and the TSA gave it up.

  • bodega3

    Yes, we try to move our stuff away but in some airports, HNL is one, they don’t provide much room for passengers to do this. Once you step outside of the secure area you can’t come back in. In SFO, they give plenty of room and so does DEN. I have experienced huffy business people who due to cutting their time short get testy with others who are slow. My mom who is almost 90 is slow, but able to do things and she has been rudely treated by those in a hurry.

  • emanon256

    I have no excuse for the huffy business people, they annoy me just as much. I wait by the x-ray exit and as soon as my stuff appears I grab it and go on my way (while counting to myself how many people I passed). While I get annoyed if people seem to be intentionally slow, I write it off and just vent here. I hopefully don’t show it at the airport. If I see older people or people who need help, I offer help, give them space, and am patient with them. Heck, it might even be that the people who annoy me who appear to be intentionally holding up the line and causing a bag pile up may have a reason for begin slow, so again, not ever right to get huffy with them, I just go on my way.

    BTW, that is very good that your mom still travels. My grandmother has refused to travel since she turned 75, she is now 96. I keep trying to encourage her.

  • S Ford

    There is a question that makes all the difference… which is never answered in this article… Do the airlines pay money to the U.S. Government to ensure select passengers are given preferred treatment? Yes or No?

  • LFH0

    In a similar vein, consider the “free” Central Park events. Where attendance is capacity controlled, admittance is effectively offered only to those people who have nothing to do all day but to wait on line for those “free” tickets. For these types of events, the goal of treating everyone “equally” is beset by inefficiency and in the end anyone who is employed during the day is denied the opportunity to attend (even if those employed and productive people had been willing to pay for those “free” tickets).

    The payment of money to be able to obtain some advantage almost always is the best way to let the marketplace determine how important something truly is, and allows individuals to determine if it is worth the cost or not.

  • LFH0

    But do we then end up with the situation where Airline X collects additional revenue from the passenger for the enhanced service, but the cost of providing that enhanced service accrues to the TSA? If a carrier wants to offer certain of its passenger this option, shouldn’t the carrier then be obligated to pay to the TSA its incremental cost for providing an enhanced level of service for its preferred passengers?

  • Judy Serie Nagy

    People who wish to pay extra for better service should be allowed to do just that. Flight crews and other airport employees should not have to stand in line for security … that’s just common sense. As far as the rude flight attendant who plopped her bag down without even an acknowledgement … those same flight crews and airport employees should lose their right to expedited security and have to stand in the longest line available. A uniformed FA behaving like that in front of a 7-year-old is showing an appalling lack of manners.

  • S Ford

    Once again… do the airlines give that extra money to the U.S. government for security or is some disabled women in Mississippi that has never boarded a flight paying for your luxury?

  • MarkKelling

    I feel that flight attendants and pilots should be paid from the minute they check in at the airport till they check out. Not sure how things got where they are today that they only get paid while actually flying. No other industry I know of pays like that.

    I actually don’t have any issues with flight crew getting priority through security. I arrive early enough that the 2 – 3 minutes added to my security time when they do get to go in front of me is not going to make a difference on if I make the flight anyway.

    And for the “crew rest” delays, maybe I should just not take the 06:00 flights. I would prefer to sleep later myself anyway. Just have to convince my boss. :-)

  • gracekelley

    They should but apparently it is a dead horse they’ve tried it’s always been that way since pan am. Foreign carrier’s pay crew from the minute they arrive at the airport.
    Oh well.
    Yeah I think the time limitations of 15 hour days was meant to be the exception they(airlines) made it the norm and then it leaves no room for mx or wx because they are already scheduled to work the maximum allotted amount and the new reg just caused havoc.
    PSA: Tip don’t fly September 1-5th word has it regional pilot’s are looking to cause chaos without regard for their work rules. Google stop the whipsaw and labor day call out sick week and decide for yourself if it’s credible enough to not fly labor day. I canceled my trip out west but may try and hop a Cessna out there. Anyway safe travels and I truly hope that you have better luck with delays!

  • bodega3

    We are indeed lucky. My dad traveled until he was 92, but with me overseeing things. I try not to get worked up over things at the airport. I will have many hours on a plane and don’ t need the stress. Many who travel a lot for work are impatient and I try to understand but be rude and you will get a comment from me. My dad at age 90 came up with a simple idea for loose items at security and for his belt. He put a plastic bag in his pocket and his change, comb, wallet all went into the bag, then into the little tray so he no longer lost things. For his belt he used a piece of rope that went through the belt loops and tied in front. He looked like Jed Clampett, but at least he didn’t embarrass us with his pants falling down should he have worn a belt and had to remove it. A that age, men rarely have hips left so the removal of the belt is a concern.

  • SoBeSparky

    Typical “tell an anecdote about TSA” and then change national policy. This is simply specious logic.

  • bodega3

    One line. No. That would only make things take longer. I like the family line, as we use that with the kids. If frequent travelers want to pay to go through faster, let them. When we travel first class or business class we get the faster line and that is nice. I have noticed in SFO that the regular passenger line has been shorter and faster lately.

  • AUSSIEtraveller

    a zero line policy is the way to go.
    TSA is a huge joke. Many Australians now avoid USA cos it’s just too much hassle.
    Some are saying, we’ll go through all that nonscience, every 2nd year, which means airlines only get them once every 2 years instead of 1.
    In light of MH17, there should be no security, as MH17 proves you don’t need to be on an aircraft to bring it down.
    Hey those nutters at NRA could easily bring down an aircraft with one rifle shot.
    The big risk now for airlines & the world is Ebola.

  • bodega3

    It isn’t going to happen, so, oh well, less tourists. Some of us in a tourist area are ok with that!

  • ctporter

    Two things.
    When you go to the grocery store, do you stand in the express line or the regular lines? should there be only ONE line for all shoppers, no “special class” of shopper for those that only purchase 15 items or less?
    If you lived in the days before air travel, was the concept of “steerage class” such a bad idea? Should trains to have only one class of service?
    I do not understand why flying is so vastly different from other forms of travel, and not just from the TSA standpoint. Paying extra for better service and better accomodations is a time honored practice and does not need to be abolished. The method of payment can be anything from earing miles, status, paying out money, or a combination of any and all. Credit cards can even earn benifits for passengers that need not fly a single mile. On the other hand, not everyone really wants or needs the same benifits. Look at how popular airlines such as Spirit are, where people do NOT want to pay one penny more for things that do not matter to them such as room, luggage, boarding passes, etc.

    Unfortunately, flying has become firmly associated with terrorism and the vast majority of inexperienced travellers want to feel as if there is something being done to make flying safer. When frequent flyers complain they (we) are labeled as elitists.

    I do not think everyone should suffer from being behind the clueless, the inept, and the overpacker. When you stand behind the guy that has to go through the sensor 3 times because he forgot his cell phone in his pocket, did not think that steel toed shoes would set off an alarm, and had a belt buckle the size of Rhode Island a few times you too would really appreciate being able to be with travellers that do not do things like that. Oh, and btw, did I mention that he had 5 kids with him and each one had a bottle of juice in their carry on which of course stops the belt completely?, And of course, all of them were shuffled into the precheck line which made it slower than the regular line. (just last week at LAX)

  • ctporter

    that disabled woman that has never flown always gets ahead of any other traveller in lines, wheelchairs are always top priority.

  • ctporter

    Could NOT agree more with this! One experience of one person is absolutely NO reason to change the requirements for those that are not going to be on a plane (airport workers) or those that are flying the plane (crews). I do fly alot, and I have had crew members go in front of me without being rude ALL THE TIME.

  • TestJeff Pierce

    Let me break it down for everyone. The GeTSApo inflicts 3 things on passengers:
    1) Criminal touching pat downs that touch the genitals, female breasts, and buttocks of passengers. This is ESPECIALLY TRUE for anyone in wheelchairs, and now happens to many people with artificial joints who are in PreCheck (google “TSA Ruskai Lawsuit’ for proof).
    2) Unconstitutional searches with “scanners”. These are inch-by-inch body searches with no suspicion. The sad thing is that the scanners do not IDENTIFY what they think they found. So far, they have a 0% identification rate of non-metallic explosive bombs…the primary reason the GeTSApo rolled them out in 2010. Every other search is less invasive than scanners and actually detect what they are looking for with a high probability….metal detectors detect metal, breathalyzers detect alcohol, etc…..scanners detect nothing with any certainty.

    3) LONG WAIT TIMES! The “shoes off” and plastic baggies of hygiene stuff combined with scanners make for much longer times.

    Quite simply, we should return to 2002 screening: Shoes on, no baggies, reasonable liquid drink sizes allowed, no scanners for primary screening, stop assaulting medically disabled, and use metal wands. NO ONE COMPLAINED THEN. IF YOU FLEW IN 2002 , then it worked for you.

  • AUSSIEtraveller

    yes but USA is broke(actually worse than broke) & needs all the foreigners it can get.
    Who’s making all the money out of the TSA nonscience anyway ?

    TSA doesn’t make any flying safer, it might give you a false sense of security though.

  • AUSSIEtraveller

    next big growth area with airlines/airport are flights/airports where no security is required.
    In Australia that applies to almpst all flights when MTOW (max take off weight of aircraft) is under 20,000 kgs.
    Not sure what the rule is in USA, but the surf air & ultimate air shuttle business models will continue to grow as people get fed up with all the so called security nonscience, which isn’t contributing to security at all.

  • PsyGuy

    I believe it, it’s Singapore after all. They already have the best airline in the world.

  • H0M

    I think the problem isn’t if there is one or two lines but how inefficient and inept the TSA is. The majority of the TSA in EWR, ORD and FLL have the same attitude of a Brat kid working in a fast food chain (go to usajobs.gov and you will see that the requirement is to have a GED). They seem to hate their job and can’t wait for their shift to end.

    Plus, while we go through this pain in the but security checks, some airport overseas do not have the same rigorous checks, so how this is going to keep us safe?… I believe the underwear bomber was in an international inbound flight.

    If checks are a must, then TSA should increase the requirements to be a TSO and manage better the lines. Instead of having two officers waiting in an empty line, have only one. I think the extra fees that the business and elite ppl (I have seen the prices and I can’t afford them) pay along with the fees of the pre-screened ppl helps the line move faster. While the one line idea sounds fair, without these few rich ppl paying extra to get off the general line, things would move even slower. Also since the point is to get rid of nonsense, it make sense to allow pilots and flight attendant go through express checks based on the amount of time they have to go though them.

  • bodega3

    Tourists still come here, so no worry about that.
    BTW, other international airports have security, too. I’ll take the false sense of security you are so concerned about.

  • AUSSIEtraveller

    Not as many tourists as you need !!!
    Nowhere is it as bad & stupid as USA.
    You pay some poor smuck $5/hour. How does that help ?
    Has TSA ever saved anyone or any aircraft ? NO.
    MH17 proves you don’t need to be on an aircraft to bring it down.
    & you don’t need a sophisticated missile either.
    Remember Concorde came down at CDG in july 2000 when simple thing like fuel tank ruptured.

  • GG

    And if you think that having a priority status (Airline Elite Status / First) will get in you in the priority line, think again. I have lost count of the number of times I had to argue to be let in the priority line (which I was eligible for). TSA has cast a profile for everyone. Fit in and obey the rules. If not….. Well I have always wondered what the T in TSA stands for.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Agreed. I was hanging at the John Muir woods with a professor of economics college buddy. Parking was horrible. He was ranting and raving about how inefficient it was. They should have paid parking close and free parking further away to efficiently allocate the very scare parking resource.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Honestly, it is unlikely to have an effect. Who routinely flies first class? Business folks. They’re travel plans won’t be affected. What the first class perks do is influence which airline you fly more than how much you fly.

    My buddy used to travel internationally as part of business. He’s a physician with some research company. He and his co-workers are rabid about flying the “right” airline with the lie flat seats, etc.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    What is the relevance of your hair color?

  • Jack Stinglash

    Perhaps I am mistaken, but I thought that the words “breasts, buttocks, genitals” were not permitted at this blog? I was also informed that something such as “GeTSApo” was considered “name-calling.” But perhaps the rules have changed. I seem to recall some discussion about this last year.

  • Frank Palmer

    I wasn’t being humorous. The whole premise of this article was to have TSA adopt a one line policy. While having to be in a wheel chair does make things difficult it shouldn’t make them any more or less important than everyone else. Have you ever seen the people that abuse the wheel chair access at airports to get through security faster. Then they preboard to get on the plane first. Finally at there destination they walk off the plane with no trouble at all?

    It’s either one line for everyone or else what we got now.

  • Frank Palmer

    Did you read the headline for this article? If the TSA was to adopt a one line policy then it should be equal. Are you in a wheel chair Jayne? What makes you more important than anyone else? What part of being in a wheel chair makes it so you can’t wait in a line like everyone else?

    As for veterans again the topic is should there be a one line policy. If that was the case then they should have to wait like everyone else.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    If you have a problem with a comment, please flag it and our moderators will review it. As far as I know, the words “breasts”, “buttocks”, and “genitals” are allowed, but context is important. Thank you for your concern.

  • Jack Stinglash

    I’m sorry, I don’t know how to flag a comment.
    I wouldn’t flag any of these anyway, mind you, they don’t bother me. I was just wondering if the rules had changed.

  • gracekelley

    I agree about the manners. It burns me up seeing adults behave badly in front of children. All she needed to do was say excuse me or would you mind in trying to get to my flight.
    Sadly, my 5 year old, has better manners and more patience than a lot of adults when we fly! But no crew operating flights should have to sacrifice 2 hours of rest to stand in line that’s just silly.

  • TestJeff Pierce

    I think my use of appropriate words to describe certain body parts was
    in taste and not different from reading a crime log in any newspaper. They just happen to be part of standard TSA operating procedures.

    I
    will defer to Chris’s and moderators’ opinion on “GeTSApo”. I use that
    as a “satire” device to some extent, and it is about an organization – not a specific person which is clearly not appropriate to insult people.

    Like the similarly sounding
    organization from the 1930s and 1940s, both the GeTSApo and Gestapo are responsible for the
    security of the homeland/fatherland/domestic country to protect it from
    foreign infiltrators.

    I don’t think rules have changed.

  • Jayne Bailey Holland

    I DON’T think Veterans should have to wait like everyone else. So I am against one line. I don’t think those with disabilities should be pushed to the back because a family overslept and they are late for their flight. I am a former flight attendant when there was only one line and usually one terminal. Until 2013 BHM used to have one line, and early morning flight passengers would be lined up out the front door of the building waiting for security.
    With so many full load flights, that means everyone travels around the same time of day. One line isn’t enough.
    Are you this blogs “Topic Police”? Then read down and give those speaking about chocolate a good thrashing.

  • emanon256

    I love the rope idea! For some reason every time I wear jeans, if I take my belt off, they tend to keep falling. The belt removal is my least favorite thing about TSA. The pocket bag idea si good too. I use a backpack with lots of pockets, its really for hiking. I dedicate a pocket for change, and another for pocket stuff so I can throw it in when I am in line. It also has a quick release pocket for keeping a rain poncho, which perfectly fits my 1qt bag.

  • Jack Stinglash

    AUSSIEtraveler, I must agree. I live in the UK and I have no intention of visiting the US because of this. Then again, I’ve been reading that other countries, including my own, have begun to adopt US procedures for certain flights. It’s very demoralizing.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    I agree and disagree. If you’re a private company, you should be able to offer any service you want to within the law. But a federal agency? What’s next, “pay more, get more” for police, fire and other emergency services? How about public schools?

  • IGoEverywhere

    The system is broken. Quality TSA workers are of the past if thet ever were decent. TSA needs to be rebooted. An intelligent TSA person in an empty ELITE line should signal you to move over to be checked. Then if that holier than thou person shows up in the “F” line, they only have to wait for 1 scan. Oh, that’s too complicated for TSA

  • bodega3

    Minimum wage is higher than that, so get your facts straight. I never understand the comment, which I have seen others use, that TSA have never stopped anything. The important point is nothing has happened! Hope it stays that way!

  • Annie M

    If checkpoint for First class had no one there. the agents should have directed people one at a time to use that line. It is ridiculous that there was no one using it while all other lanes were busy. Directing one at a time when no one is there would still not hurt the flight crews or first class passengers from getting the “elite” service that those lines are supposed to be for.

    It is simply laziness on the TSA agents part to just stand there and do nothing if there are no elite passengers at that particular time. I don’t know how they could stand working at a job that you have nothing to do a lot of the time, the day seems like it would never end.

  • William_Leeper

    Let’s keep it civil please.

  • Susan Richart

    Embarrass you? What about embarrassing himself? Isn’t that more important?

  • Judy Serie Nagy

    Just tried to respond, but discus booted me out and deleted my response.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    Judy, your comments are always welcome here. I don’t see anything in the spam queue that looks like it came from you. Please try again.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    And that’s why you love me. ;-)

  • Lindabator

    They do that here in Detroit as well.

  • Lindabator

    And I go through YOUR security in London with far more delays and headaches than here in the US! Should I stop travelling to see you guys, then?

  • Jayne Bailey Holland

    So sorry I offended anyone.

  • Raj W

    I don’t have an issue with having the same level of service but as a frequent and EXPERIENCED traveler I can say with absolute conviction that there should NOT be one line. It is extremely frustrating to be behind an infrequent or new traveler (sometimes an entire family) who holds up the process by not taking off shoes, belt, metal, not taking their phone, wallet, etc out of their pockets or by asking if or why they need to do so when signs, recordings or announcements instructing them to do so occur several times through the line. I joined Pre primarily to not have to deal with this when the existing process is already cumbersome.

  • Jack Stinglash

    Ms Bator, I don’t know what you should do. I’m not prescribing nor proscribing any action. Everyone has to make these decisions for him/herself.

  • Chris Bray

    I’ve been eating dirt for ten years, and I haven’t been diagnosed with leukemia. Eating dirt is working!

    The TSA survives on the gift of the post hoc fallacy.

  • Susan Richart

    It’s my magic rock that has prevented any more incidents in the sky. Much better, far cheaper and not nearly as invasive and humiliating as the TSA SOP.

    If you really believe that the TSA has prevented any incidents, you are being deluded.

  • http://litbrit.blogspot.com/ Deborah Newell Tornello

    FACT: bodega3 is engaging in a version of the logical fallacy known as Post hoc ergo propter hoc (after something, therefore caused by it). “There are TSA people in blue shirts and badges standing at checkpoints, groping grandmothers and scaring toddlers and making people take their shoes off, and we have not had another 9/11-style attack since, well, since 9/11; THEREFORE, the existence of all those TSA people in blue shirts and badges, busily groping people, is the reason for, or the cause of, the absence of another 9/11-style attack.”

    When, in reality, FACT: The TSA has never stopped a terrorist. Both the shoe-bomber and the undies-bomber went through checkpoints and were allowed to board aircraft; what stopped those hapless would-be terrorists was not an abundance of blue-shirts carrying out gropefests; rather, it was the motivated passengers who thwarted them.

    FACT: Terrorists being able to take a plane hostage thanks to a few Stanley knives and a cabin full of compliant passengers? That tactic was rendered null and void before the fourth plane crashed. And it will never work again. Not even with better knives. (Plus, we have reinforced, locked cockpit doors now.)

    FACT: Federal minimum wage in the USA is $7.25 per hour, before taxes, social security, and medicare are deducted.

  • http://litbrit.blogspot.com/ Deborah Newell Tornello

    It’s not about embarrassing you. Or embarrassing oneself. It is about our own government HUMILIATING US, the innocent traveling public who pay their salaries. It’s a disgrace. No-one should have to remove articles of clothing or go through labyrinthine preparations in order to move freely about his own country–that’s what metal detectors are for, and they work. The humiliation factor is all about wielding power and conditioning Americans to accept ever-greater amounts of intrusion and surveillance in their daily lives.

  • http://litbrit.blogspot.com/ Deborah Newell Tornello

    One line. Because eventually we will all flatline. Any attempts to designate one group as more equal than others is undemocratic. People will have plenty of time to show off their higher status when they turn left and head toward the first-class seat they’ve paid five times the price for. Hey–perhaps there will be cashews instead of desiccated pretzel crumbs!

  • AUSSIEtraveller

    which is why airports & airlines that don’t have this joke called security will prosper. In OZ, if aircraft MTOW less than 20,000kg no security requirement.
    Most 40 seaters fit under 20,000kgs. Eg. Dornier 328 jet or Saab 340.
    + smaller airports can have much quicker security by using hand held wands. Anyone who thinks going thru all the big airport security is somehow safer is deluded.

  • AUSSIEtraveller

    even if min wage was $10, no one in OZ would get out of bed for that except foreign workers.
    You can’t seriously tell us that you work in the travel industry & you believe all the crap spin that the dodgy US govt comes out with, in regard to TSA ?
    Every intelligent person knows that the TSA does nothing at all except inconvenience everyone & some big corporation in the good ol USA is making billions out of it, while all the smucks think they are some how safer.
    FACTS
    1. you don’t need to be on an aircraft to bring it down
    2. Concorde crashed in Jul2000 at CDG when fuel tanks punctured.
    3. so some idiot with a rifle could bring down any aircraft, if he/she was a decent shot.

  • AH

    they’re doing that in dallas, too.
    makes me very glad i don’t need to travel highways during peak periods.

  • bodega3

    LOL! You would have to have known my Dad to understand. Nothing like that would have phased him. He wore the rope so TSA wouldn’t think he was trying something, not that he cared about his pants dropping to his ankles.

  • bodega3

    Ah, I see this topic brings you out again.

  • bodega3

    I see you popped in on this, too.

  • bodega3

    Whatever.

  • Susan Richart

    But you were concerned about being embarrassed by your father’s choices; that’s so adolescent.

  • Don Spilky

    I have TSA Pre-Check, and I’m thrilled that it is offered for the nominal cost of $85 for 5 years (not yearly). TSA Pre-Check works because my fingerprints were run through whatever FBI/Police/Interpol systems that exist and 3 days later I came back as not being a terrorist risk.

    I’d be more than happy to have EVERY man, woman and child go through this background check and join me on the Pre-Check line. Then all that would be left on the other line are those who SHOULD be screened more carefully.

    “Wait” you say… “Why should my child or grandmother need a background check? Certainly they are not a terrorist” You would be correct – but guess what? This is called “Profiling” and even though it has been proven to be MUCH more effective at ferreting out the true bad guys this is ILLEGAL in the US of A.

    “The TSA should be running its background checks on all passengers before the flight” – Chris, are you seriously suggesting that all passengers submit their fingerprints before flying? First time flying and need to get to Granny’s funeral tomorrow? Nope. Sorry – we need 3 days notice to run your prints.

  • bodega3

    Oh lordy. Really? Thanks.

  • Marcin Jeske

    Except when you are late for your flight… it’s mostly your loss (and the loss of whoever is waiting for you at the other end of the flight). Some even benefit: a standby passenger gets a seat, the airline get’s to resell your seat and maybe charge you some fees, or someone has a nice empty seat next to them to spread out.

    When crew is late… they have just delayed from dozens to hundreds of people by the same amount (depending on the size of plane they crew). All the effort of all those people on the plane to be on time gets wasted. Scheduled gets disrupted… costs to the airline go up; ticket prices go up.

    From the perspective of minimizing the negative and improving overall efficiency, I would prioritize crew over passengers in almost every instance. The airlines and airports have come to the same conclusion.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    The only thing I disagree with, Chris, is “The TSA should be running its background checks on all passengers”

    NO ONE should be background checked by the government to get on a plane, especially since the background check parameters are kept secret. NO ONE should be fingerprinted by the government to get on a plane. NO ONE should have to an exhortion fee to get on a plane for a chance to be less assaulted or abused.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    Except when you’ve paid to be in the express lane, you won’t get pull over and told, “No, you don’t get to use the express lane today. We randomly decided you don’t get it, despite having paid for it. And there are no refunds.”

  • Mundane Lustrator

    Sounds like what they’re doing between Dallas and Austin, with the added insult of the state seizing private property to build this privately run tollway.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    Paying a private company for an amenity versus paying the government for a chance to have an amenity is the difference.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    I don’t think veterans should get to cut in line, but I do think we all need to be a little more understanding for people who are in wheelchairs that they may take a little longer getting through screening.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    I had a bad experience with a power trippin’ screener at MHT also. Topped off by seeing them paw an elderly woman.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    Very few airports use contracted companies. SFO is one example. Most are federal government employees.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    This isn’t a partisan issue. Both parties are responsible for this disgusting agency.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    I can get behind the family lines and individual traveler lines. I think that would reduce the stress for a lot of people.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    I think if they weren’t constantly yelling, people would pay attention more. Humans tend to tune out the constant blathering, just like we do with the EndTimers yelling on the street corners.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    The TSA is only supposed to be looking for weapons, explosives, and incendiaries. Despite it being against the law, carrying illegal drugs won’t take down a plane. Any government worker who observes an illegal act or item while at work, such as finding pot in a bag, should call law enforcement.

    Abusing people to get on a plane is purely security theater. So, the “drug mule” story doesn’t work in the case of the TSA.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    Being abused and robbed by the TSA does NOT stop nor reduce terrorism. The TSA itself admitted in court documents that no terrorist group is targeting American flights.

    The chance of being killed on a plane by a terrorist in this country is already practically zero. The TSA does nothing but waste billions of tax dollars, billions of flyers’ hours, and confiscate billions worth of our private property.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    Not just “an” anecdote. Thousands, nay, millions of anecdotes are out there that show the TSA to be a flawed agency that does not keep anyone safer.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    Tell that to the small shop owner in a tourist area.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    Why do you choose not to understand the simple fact that the TSA has never stopped anything?

  • Mundane Lustrator

    I always wanted to visit London, but since I’ve heard they are getting as bad as the TSA, it reduced my desire to go by quite a bit.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    Uh, the express checkout line at the grocery store isn’t “special.” It’s dealing with a fact that one person as one item, and a second person had thirty items. They still get checked out of the store the exact same way. The second person with thirty items isn’t groped nor is he searched more than the first person.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    Don, just because you had a background check and got fingerprinted doesn’t mean you aren’t a threat in the future. Precheck is a boondoggle.

  • bodega3

    Well thanks, I already know…I am one!

  • bodega3

    We don’t know that and is a point you seem to be not understanding.

  • bodega3

    That is too bad. London is a great city.

  • SoBeSparky

    Cite a fact, not an opinion. Primary source?

  • Jack Stinglash

    I, for one, am confused. Whom are you addressing?

  • BMG4ME

    I see nothing wrong in being able to spend my money on a faster line if I want to. If I am traveling once a year it’s probably not worth it but for 40-50 times a year it is.

  • Bonnie Fraser

    My irritation with the current system is that they dedicate two TSA agents to the first class/priority line and they are standing around waiting for someone to use their line. Meanwhile they have a hundred people waiting in “regular” line waiting to be screened. I like the idea of using all the people and when someone is in the priority line to take them next.