How Do You Feel About Airport Security?
Notice I didn’t ask what you think about it? I asked how does it make you feel? America is the only country in the world where you are required to remove jackets, shoes, computers and belts. No one else goes to that extreme although some countries might ask you to remove boots or bulky shoes for individual inspection. But no other country, other than America, has let people on planes with underwear and shoe bombs either — so I guess we're entitled.
Security or Show?
I fly quite a bit and my take on airport security is just another necessary evil I have to contend with to get where I’m going. I take their advice and arrive at the airport two hours early to get through all the hassles associated with air travel. Then I people watch for an hour and a half.
One thing I’ve always been curious about is why they put on the show of going through your bags in public? Couldn’t they just as easily accomplish that in the baggage area? Or is it just a show to make us “feel” safer? TSA was forced to remove full body X-ray machines because they were just too reveling and became a great source of entertainment for TSA inspectors. I wanted some 8x10’s and wallet size copies of mine but they said no.
Here’s a quick word of advice if you are planning on flying somewhere in the near future. Don’t spend a lot of time packing your bags neatly. There is no way they will arrive at your destination in the same shape you started. Sometimes you will also find a government card in your suitcase letting you know that Uncle Sam is on the job and you are safe from any instance of exploding shoes or underwear shortening your trip.
Would You Pay to Cut The Line?
Currently three airports are experimenting with quicker checkouts by checking you out in advance. A cordial visit to the nearest TSA office for fingerprinting and a background check will allow you to breeze through security for a fee of $85 dollars. Feel free to leave shoes on, jackets on, computer safe in your carry on bag, and your belt securely fastened. Your $85 dollars will cover you for five years then you need to reapply. I guess they figure it will take longer than five years for some fanatical America hating group to flip you.
If you are standing in the full body search line, I wonder if you feel any safer watching the $85 dollar crowd carrying who knows what onto your flight. Is it just possible that background check might have missed something? And wouldn’t that almost be a form of discrimination? The haves versus the have not’s? First Class vs. coach? Not sure this practice would make the friendly skies any friendlier. Do I at least get some champagne for my $85 bucks?
Some Final Thoughts
To avoid the hassle of airport security I would be more than happy to pony up the $85 bucks. I appreciate the fact that Uncle Sam is trying to look out for my safety even though, in my opinion, they go way over the line. As I mentioned earlier we are the only country where shoes, belts and computers end up on the conveyer belt.
On the plane and off the plane I am happy to turn my security over to the TSA but in the air all bets are off. At the passengers of United 93 discovered airline personnel can’t help you. You’ve got to help yourself. And that works pretty well in your on the ground life too. So how does airport security make you feel?