Ben blogs about his experience with the TSA at JFK, where every passenger was being asked for their first name and destination.
As he observes, it’s silly when every passenger is being asked the same question and can hear it in advance. Even if the idea was to check for fake IDs (as though this was somehow meaningfully linked to security), the advance notice renders it useless. And of course the TSA document checkers are hardly highly trained behavioral detection officers.
So he pushed back at the questions, asking whether answering was a prerequisite to flying (he was not told that it was), and offering second ID in lieu of an answer.
Now, some will say why give a hard time to the frontline employees? But this is hardly harassment of those employees, and this is the situation in which the passenger is being interrogated in order to exercise their right to travel. But setting aside individual strategy for achieving social change, I’m envisioning a future colloquy between Ben and the TSA that goes something like this:
TSO: Who would cross airside must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see
Ben: Ask me the questions, Smurf. I am not afraid!
TSO: What.. is your name?
Ben: I am Lucky.
TSO: What.. is your routing?
TSO: What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen A340?
Ben: Would that be with Rolls Royce or CFM engines?
TSO: Huh? I… I don’t know that. Auuuuuuuugh.
Mommypoints: How do you know so much about Airbus engines?
Ben: Well you have to know these things when you don’t have incredibly cute kids to blog about, y’know.