Most of us are used to the long lines at the airport security checkpoints – some can probably even recite the TSA’s banned items list by heart (“No liquids over 3.4 ounces”).
Listen as Rick Seaney tells editor Anne McDermott ways to make security easier (he says it can be done!):
We understand the mission – safety in the skies – while yearning for an easier security experience. Fortunately, there is some good news on that front.
5 Security Improvements
1. No more naked X-ray body scan machines
Some travelers hated these machines because they were far more revealing than the cookie-cutter imagines of the backscatter machines or because of lingering questions about their safety. They are now being removed from U.S. airports. If selected for a body scan, you’ll still have to go through a backscatter machine – or opt for a pat-down.
2. Etiquette classes
Potential TSA screeners in New Jersey are taking part in what some are calling etiquette classes, but mostly they teach old-fashioned concepts like listening, empathy, keeping calm and more.
3. Downturn in stolen cash
This is not really good news – as the TSA acknowledges, no theft is “tolerable.” Nevertheless, a recent media report about a TSA officer being fired for stealing $36 from a bag at Charlotte is a lot better than the $5,000 cash thefts we heard about a few years ago.
4. Canine approval
Canine teams are now part of the TSA’s program of “managed inclusion” which means at some airports, if the dogs give you the OK, you can bypass some of the more tedious aspects of security and go directly to the PreCheck lane – where you can keep your shoes and jacket on.
5. Freedom prevails
Okay, we may be stretching this a bit, but consider the following:
- Protests are alive and well: You can remove your clothes and write the fourth amendment on your chest if you like – you may be detained but you can always sue.
- System reform efforts continue: Sen. Rand Paul takes another stab at trying to put TSA screening duties in the hands of private companies.