This is a quick post because I’m locked in a war of words with the TSA. Apparently someone over there does read what I write. That may not be a good thing.
If you ever want to voice a complaint about the TSA, I suggest you tweet their lead PR guy, @TSAmedia_RossF. He actually responds to what you say, whereas tweets to other TSA accounts generally disappear into the ether. But don’t expect him to say anything very substantive.
.@TSAmedia_RossF You’re paid to disagree with my assessment.
— Scott Mackenzie (@HackMyTrip) October 10, 2014
My post yesterday suggested that one way to improve TSA PreCheck would be to limit it to frequent flyers. Contrary to a few minority opinions, I did not mean to say that these people should get automatic access without being screened. Nor did I say that it had to be offered for free — though I did hold out hope that the airline or the government would subsidize the cost. If you think about it, they’re trying to screen more people faster with less expensive technology, and they still get to collect the mandatory security fee on every airline ticket sold.
I don’t advocate class warfare. I’m saying this might be one approach to maximize the efficiency of a system with poor enrollment. Frequent flyers are the ones who get screened most often. The time savings add up. They’re the ones most likely to pay to enroll. They’re the ones with a longer travel history to provide effective background checks.
And they’re frustrated when infrequent travelers screw it up. It’s not the fault of infrequent travelers. They’re caught in the middle trying to understand a complicated system. But excluding them from PreCheck might work as an effective marking tactic while causing a minimum of inconvenience to the traveling public as a whole. After all, the infrequent travelers aren’t waiting in line every other week or even ever other month.
Don’t forget that the TSA created the mess in the first place with their new security measures after 9/11. Some terrorists (or potential terrorists) have been caught since then. I don’t recall any who were caught at the TSA screening checkpoint. When they offer $85 for a less painful security experience, it’s like the doctor who offers $85 to repair the leg he just broke.
I’m having fun tweeting back and forth with Ross this morning, who started around 5:30 AM. I was awake to help out with something else going on in town and able to respond. But I do have work today, whereas Ross’s “job” is to hassle me on Twitter. Hopefully we can keep the entertainment flowin’.