Thursday, September 05, 2013

TSA Expands Pre-Screening

The U.S. Transportation Safety Agency has announced that pre-screening for airline passengers will be available soon at 60 more American airports. This is in addition ot the 40 airports that already have it.

If you pay for pre-screening, you do not have to remove shoes and belts or take your computer out of your carry-on baggage while going through security. The cost is $85 for five years, and you need to submit to a security check and fingerprinting. So far, the pre-screening registration is offered only at Washington Dulles and Indianapolis airport.

This sounds like a good deal, especially for frequent travellers. U.S. airport security is, in my view, the second most obnoxious in the world, after Israel. The need to remove shoes and take out computers adds a lot of time to screening, and rules on scissors and small pocket knives lead to the loss of a lot of these items.

I was in Argentina shortly after the rules about scissors came into effect, and I had a small pair in my luggage. Rather than confiscate them, as happens in the U.S., Canada and most other places, the security people wrapped them up and sent them as checked baggage, which was very nice.

Maybe some day they will just do away with all the airport security, and we will take our chances as we used to do.


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