Are You Feeling Safer?
This morning I was flying back to Virginia from Florida after speaking at the Orlando C4L conference. In front of me in the security line was a middle aged woman who was speaking Spanish with the seated TSA officer who is supposed to match boarding cards with the information on a state issued ID card. As I also speak Spanish, I followed along with the conversation. At first the woman claimed she had no license because she does not drive a car, but she then, when pressed, began to claim that she had forgotten her IDs at home. To my surprise, the TSA officer marked her boarding card and waved her through. I fully expected that she would then be directed to go through one of the more intensive security lines, but, to my suprise, she entered my line, which had no additional screening beyond the routine x-raying of the bags and walking through the magnetometer.
Bearing in mind that I think that the whole airport security screening procedure is a bit of a joke, I was nevertheless suprised at how lax it was in that they don't even abide by their own basic rules. It explains why recent test runs by the Government Accountability Office demonstrate that even simulated weapons and bombs frequently make it through the screening. I do not, in fact, think that the great expense and humiliation provided by TSA has in any way protected the American public, which would be better served by returning to the much simpler and cheaper system in place pre-9/11, which admittedly had some flaws, but nothing that couldn't be corrected relatively simply and without having to strip search or pat down airline passengers.