..... That is what makes the policy of Delta Airlines so shockingly un-American. .In Austin, Delta had not one but two lines that fed into the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint area. One line was mixed race, mixed class and mixed age. The other line was usually empty. Now and then a white, middle-aged man would appear in the second line and the first line would be halted as he went directly into the TSA checkpoint. .....
I think it is worth discussing whether people should be able to buy their way to shorter security lines, esp. through TSA operated programs like pre-check, although I also recognize that these programs benefits FFers.
One of the few checks on TSA security procedures is that everyone has to go through them, so if they become too burdensome, people can complain to Congress, etc. Things will only get much worse if the rich/influential people can simply buy their way out of nudoscopes, invasive pat-downs, and other bothersome security measures.
I "bought" my way by paying for Global Entry, including choosing to give up my personal information including a picture ID and fingerprints. Still even with that I get denied, as this is supposed to be "random selection". Given that the government knows more about me than 95% of the other travelers, why should they ignore my low risk profile and punish me by making me go through enhanced security? To make me equal? If my ability to commit $20/year for ease of travel makes me rich... I hope you are not involved in the upcoming plan to increase taxes on the "rich" such as me.
The author of this article has had a similar piece (with a similar title) published in various outlets. Glad that most other people have better things to do with their time than to write such things. It'd be one thing to state the full facts about airport security lanes and debate whether or not the current arrangements are good, but to be rambling on about how priority lanes are used by rich white people only is false and a waste of time.
Given that the government knows more about me than 95% of the other travelers . . .
I wouldn't be so sure about that, considering the number of professions that require fingerprinting, the percentage of the general population that have had a run-in with the police (and thus have been fingerprinted), the percentage of flyers who have some form of government-issued photo ID, etc.
I seriously doubt that there is any widely-disseminated government form that requests information that the government doesn't already know the answer to before you fill it out.
That article and a couple others like it have been discussed in TSA PreCheck threads elsewhere. For example: Delta TSA Pre-Check
The articles themselves are somewhat misleading and tend to miss the point. For example, no travelers are actually "skipping" security, they're just using a faster alternative because they've been deemed to be less of a risk (and, in cases like TT programs, have undergone background checks, etc.). They added a correction to the bottom, but left in the sensationalist headline.
Then there are articles like this (http://www.salon.com/2012/03/22/how_...port_security/), which sounds like it was written by a whiny 14 year-old who didn't get picked for the kickball team. The misinformation, flawed logic, and plain ignorance in these (especially the Salon article), is almost painful to read, and my fear is that it'll push back on programs like PreCheck that actually make security more efficient and effective by making the screening selection smarter and less of a blunt instrument, IMO.
Besides, as FriendlySkies points out, the existence of preferred security lines for elites is hardly a new idea. For a writer to be surprised by seeing them should, I think, in many ways makes anything that person writes about air travel slightly less credible - it's as if they haven't seen the inside of an airport in the last ten years...
__________________ "When you're great, people often mistake candor for bragging."
If you say so.... I've had a government issued ID my whole life, but never submitted to fingerprinting until my Global Entry application. Can't recall the application information, but agree it probably didn't go beyond what I file in my tax forms each year. My point, of course is that I volunteered information and paid a fee to the government to give them what they asked for to try to eliminate unnecessary screening, and that anyone who chooses to do this and can come up with $100 can do this also. The topic was that "rich people" are the beneficiaries, and I don't believe that is the case.