TSA screening about to get a lot worse

The major check against the unreasonable, horrible practices on the part of the TSA is that people who fly are wealthier, on average than people who don't -- and people who fly a lot are wealthier still. That meant that the worst stuff the TSA did was felt disproportionately by people who had a lot of political juice -- people who get listened to. Increasingly, though, rich people can opt out of the worst of TSA treatment by buying voluntary background checks and bypassing the rigmarole of the plebs. Now, the TSA is expanding its Pre-Check program, ensuring that pretty much everyone with any political clout will be spared the worst of it, letting the TSA's treatment for aviation's 99 percent spiral steadily downward, moving from mere Security Theater to Security Grand Guignol.

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  1. drsam says:

    I'm sorry -- but I think this is a little overblown. I got PreCheck by signing up for Global Entry (because I used to travel a lot overseas for business). The cost is $100 for 5 years ($20/year), which is hardly a cost that would be out of reach of ordinary travelers. I usually get through PreCheck 80% of the time, and yes, it saves me the 10-15 minutes and the taking off of shoes and removing my lapotop from the bag. When I don't get it, it's no big deal.

    PreCheck is hardly an elitist institution, in my opinion. But, you're right, it requires willingness to submit to a background check and you have to be able to attend an in-person interview, so it does take a little time.

  2. shutz says:

    I want to write and shoot a film titled "TSA", just so I can announce TSA screenings.

  3. But you're assuming "ordinary travelers" are, like you, frequent travelers, and, as Cory points out, they're not. It's not necessarily a question of whether it's too expensive, but rather whether it's a worthwhile expense for people who don't travel often. For the majority of travelers, it's not.

  4. Well as long as you got yours I guess we should just sit quietly.

  5. The longer term problem is that when the rich and influential stop experiencing the full range of checks, they will stop caring about them. There will be no squeeky wheels worth oiling.

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