Ever since 9/11, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees have been making the lives of airline travelers miserable with long delays, excessive searches, belligerent attitudes and inappropriate leering.
Among the activities that make these security lines ridiculously slow when you have a plane to catch are opening up your briefcase to display your laptop and removing your shoes and belt to place them in a tray.
Well, guess what. Now you can try to pay your way out of some of that. According to a new TSA policy, if you qualify, you can provide them with $85 and your fingerprints in exchange for keeping your laptop in its case and keeping your shoes and belt on.
This expedited screening process is called the PreCheck program. At first, only those enrolled in frequent flyer programs were eligible for this “great deal,” but now consideration is given to everyone who applies.
So, here are my immediate questions about this. Is it necessary for our security that travelers remove their shoes and belts at airport checkpoints or isn’t it? And is it necessary for our security that passengers remove their laptops from their cases or isn’t it? If it’s not necessary, then why are people forced to do it? And if it is necessary, why is it suddenly not required for those who want to pay their way out of it?
I think this program should be re-named the PreCheck Extortion Program. Isn’t that what it’s really about? Of course, an added benefit to the government with the PreCheck program is the accumulation of more sets of fingerprints for their databases, but the bottom line is that we’re being forced to pay to be treated in a more civilized manner, and if that isn’t extortion, I don’t know what is.
Is the PreCheck program something you want to look into for yourself? Would it be worth it to you to pay $85 and provide the TSA with your fingerprints in order to have a slightly better airport check-in experience? Please let me know what you think.