TSA’s dumbest policy ever?

Let me preface this by saying I’m no fan of the TSA. That being said, I try to be friendly to their frontline employees, and I’m not nearly as radical as others. I can see the intent behind things such as the liquid ban, and while I don’t necessarily agree with their policies, I’ll at least assume their intentions are good. Today I’m completely dumbfounded.

As most know I’m sure, up until now you could fly domestically without ID, but you were subjected to extra security screening. Check out this completely idiotic new policy by the TSA:

Beginning Saturday, June 21, 2008 passengers that willfully refuse to provide identification at security checkpoint will be denied access to the secure area of airports. This change will apply exclusively to individuals that simply refuse to provide any identification or assist transportation security officers in ascertaining their identity.

(Click the link above for the full press release)

What the %&$*? Someone please wake me up and tell me this is a bad dream, or at least a joke gone bad by the TSA. So they’re saying that you can still fly without ID, but only if you genuinely “forgot it” or misplaced it, and not if you have it but don’t feel like showing it?

If you’re like me, you’re probably asking why. The TSA doesn’t seem very good at communicating their thoughts well, so let me try to decipher what they’re saying. I’ve always been taught that the best place to start looking for clues is in the title of a piece, so let’s take a look:

TSA Announces Enhancements to Airport ID Requirements to Increase Safety

Ahhh, now it all makes sense! This is to INCREASE SAFETY! Can’t believe I didn’t figure that out from the beginning. Now that the only people going through security without ID’s are those that chose to leave them at home as opposed to those that decide to take it with them, I feel so much safer. Whew!

This new procedure will not affect passengers that may have misplaced, lost or otherwise do not have ID but are cooperative with officers.

Hmmm, so who does it affect? The 0.000000000001% of passengers that choose not to show their ID on purpose and aren’t cooperative? You’re really making a rule for those handful of people, the ones that are doing it to prove a point and not because their intentions are bad?

This initiative is the latest in a series designed to facilitate travel for legitimate passengers

So those passengers that choose not to show their ID are illegitimate passengers?

while enhancing the agency’s risk-based focus – on people, not things.

What am I missing here? TSA, YOU’RE FOCUSING ON THINGS (a stupid ID), AND NOT PEOPLE!!! How can they say that with a straight face? Oh, right, they’re probably not…

Positively identifying passengers is an important tool in our multi-layered approach to security and one that we have significantly bolstered during the past 18 months.

OK…. and what does this have to do with it?

Sorry guys, I try to avoid being too sarcastic, but in this case it was either sarcasm or cussing without end, and I think I chose the better direction. This is just an insult to the intelligence of the average traveler, and something that makes me more likely to “lose” my ID somewhere in my baggage (maybe in-between my smelly clothes), and we’ll see if the TSA wants to fish it out.

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

More articles by lucky »

Comments

  1. Sorry, Ben, but I think the policy makes perfect sense.

    The uncooperative passenger who refuses to show ID takes up a disproportionate share of TSA resources, thus the TSA’s refusal to deal with this class of passenger frees resources for all other travelers, thereby increasing the level of service offered to them (theoretically at least).

  2. yeah, it makes sense to me. if it helps, forget the ID part, and focus on the “uncooperative passengers = screw you; cooperative passengers = yay!” aspect of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *