How to destroy air travels and take away freedoms in one easy lesson

Quick quiz: What does TSA stand for?

  • (T)aking (S)cissors (A)way
  • (T)housands (S)tanding (A)round
  • (T)ourism (S)uppression (A)gency

Before deciding, please consider that

    The Department of Homeland Security is drafting a rule that will require airlines to pass on passenger manifest information as much as an hour before the departure of international flights bound for the United States

Requiring information to be submitted an hour before flight takeoff involves a full 75 minutes greater notice than currently provided. This will mean passengers turning up at the airport at least an additional hour in advance of flight time. Multiplied across all the passengers each day, that’s millions of lost productivity hours each year.

The problem compounds itself for connecting flights. It’s as yet unclear whether a passenger will have to have arrived at a connecting airport before the list is compiled, to prevent the list from including incorrect information driven by misconnecting passengers. If so, connecting flight time will need to be increased as well — playing havoc with airline schedules and wasting more passenger time.

And since the rule is intended to apply not just to passengers bound for the U.S. as their ultimate destination, but also to passengers transiting the U.S. on their way to other destinations, the rule will disadvantage U.S. carriers competing for passenger dollars. Foreign carriers, whose hubs are in countries without the requirement, will be far more consumer friendly for such customers.

Perhaps this would be a worthwhile, though massively costly, investment if it were in any way likely to reduce loss of life from terrorism. But the additional travel time required by the rule will simply be in service of blindly reject people whose names are for whatever reason on a master list. Terrorists, meanwhile, can simply fly under assumed identities.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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