It is the first Saturday of vacation, and I am at the airport ready for paradise. My family and I weave through the crowd, making our way to security with our carry-ons.
After waiting in a seemingly never-ending line, we finally make it to security where we place our belongings in tubs. My sister quickly takes off her belt, I toss my cell phone, my mom whips the liquids out of her carry-on, and we all quickly stumble out of our shoes and place them on the conveyor belt. Walking through the scanner and then quickly collecting our gear, frantically moving out of peoples’ way, maneuvering through security can be stressful.
Recently, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that American citizens will be eligible for a pre-screening program (PreCheck) to make airport security less of a hassle. Applicants for PreCheck must first fill out an application online, submit fingerprints and verify their identity. The application is accompanied by an $85 enrollment fee. Once approved, PreCheck travelers walk through a fast lane and are not required to remove their shoes, belts, jackets, laptop or liquids. Every five years travelers must renew their PreCheck. Forty airports nationwide currently offer PreCheck.
Although crowds, combined with the mayhem of security checks, are troubling, I believe these precautions are necessary. Since 9/11, the security has tightened dramatically, keeping people safe. If travelers know that they are going to be flying, then why not minimize your gear? Instead of wearing a belt, wear sweat pants, or simply wear slip-on shoes in place of lace ups. Why not be comfortable when up in the air anyway?
With new technology every day, I suspect that security will become less and less of a hassle. Depending on how many people sign up for PreCheck, it may not be any faster than regular security. While this option may be nice for frequent travelers, I think the TSA should stick to normal security for everyone.
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