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May 24

Airport Security Is About To Get Suckier

And it doesn’t even involve a laptop ban.

In its infinite wisdom, the TSA is testing even more measures to make your travel experience miserable. Here are the details:

Get Ready to Unpack…Everything


Because separating your liquids, gels, electronics, etc. just isn’t enough. The Wall Street Journal today that the TSA has been testing other time wasters security measures and may roll them out after the summer rush (The article is behind a paywall, but the video above, from the article, tells you everything you need to know.). Soon, you’ll be taking pretty much everything out of your bag, ranging from books to food. According to the TSA, this process will make screening more efficient by separating items and making them easier to identify. Sadly, you don’t have to be a genius to know that “efficiency” and “TSA” are rarely used in the same sentence and, if the policy is enforced, lines will get longer than ever. Good luck getting passengers to understand what does and what doesn’t need to come out of bags, primarily because no two airports enforce the policies the same way.* Can’t wait until they have to go through my kids’ snack bag.

The TSA claims that the unpacking will be optional but, if you don’t respect their authority, they’ll reserve the right to search your bag and make you miserable. Don’t worry, that won’t be an issue for long. Soon, they’ll revoke the “it’s an option” policy and simply force everyone to pack their belongings into 19 separate bins.

Also being considered: machines that will read your ID, taking the human out of the process and avoiding the need for a TSO to write a short novel on your boarding pass. One of these days, somebody will have to explain to me how checking everyone’s ID makes us safer. If the TSA has done its job preventing weapons, explosives and shampoo from getting onboard, it shouldn’t matter if Carlos The Jackal is sitting next to me.

The lone bit of good news: Those who paid the $85 extortion fee to get precheck, or get it free from their credit card, will avoid the new inconveniences.


*Beginner’s Hint: The TSA will tell you that the inconsistencies among airports is intentional, keeping terrorists on their toes so that they don’t know what to expect from airport to airport. The inconsistency is actually there because TSOs generally don’t know their own rules, so claiming that a particular rule is a local twist is their way of not having to acknowledge that they messed up.


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