I’m in the November issue of Travel and Leisure beating the drum about how TSA hamstrings the usefulness of PreCheck.
Is it worth it? Gary Leff, cofounder of the frequent-flier community milepoint.com, says there’s hardly ever a line, since the program is exclusive. But since PreCheck privileges aren’t ubiquitous, he can’t bank on having them every time he flies.
I’ve made the point before, it’s a great experience. I admit, I love getting my three beeps and being directed to the metal detector and x-ray with no line, no nude-o-scope, and no need to take off my shoes (I don’t take my laptop out anyway, since I use a bag where it isn’t required, and I’m almost never required to take my Freedom Baggie of liquids out anyway). It’s far more civilized.
But it doesn’t actually reduce time at the airport since you can’t ever know ex ante whether you’ll be permitted to use the PreCheck queue on any given trip (or as I discovered in Miami, that it will even be open).
Don’t get me wrong, restoring my dignity may be even more important than efficient use of time.
All I can hope is that the predictions in this Scott Mayerowitz AP piece from yesterday turn out to be accurate.
“We simply can’t cope with the expected volume of passengers with the way things are today,” said Tony Tyler, director general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association, the airlines’ trade group.
…He predicted that by 2020, governments will be using a “checkpoint of the future” where passengers can race though without stopping, removing clothing, or taking liquids and laptops out of bags.
I’m a bit more skeptical, I don’t see an end to security theatre in 8 years. Unless, of course, the way we get there is expensive boondoggle machines that allow governments to say they’re doing something without inconveniencing passengers and with companies standing to make large amounts of money pushing for this solution.