Convenient Checking

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The Transportation Security Administration plans to require all airline passengers, whether or not they're checking bags, to obtain their boarding passes before they get to the gate. The aim, according to Deputy Transportation Secretary Michael Jackson, is "to reduce the hassle factor." Other convenience-enhancing plans include switching from luggage to see-through plastic trash bags and lengthening the recommended time for arriving at the airport from two hours before the flight to six.

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  1. When Mr. Jackson spoke of “reduc[ing] the hassle factor,” clearly he meant reducing the hassle for TSA employees, not reducing the hassle for actual, you know, passengers. Just like HOV lanes reduce “hassle” by eliminating the hassle to the government of actually building new infrastructure. It’s government of the government, by the government, for the government.

  2. Surely this is an Onion article?

    Clear plastic trash bags instead of luggage? The art of strategic packing will become the hip new consulting gig.

    Arrive 6 hours before departure time? With 12 hours of ‘travel’ time now added to each journey, I think I’ll drive, thanks!

  3. I was amazed to see that the idiotic rule preventing parking within 300′ of an air terminal has been rescinded. Of course, parking within 300′ of much better bomb targets like sports stadiums, office buildings and shopping centers was never limited.

    Is this a dangerous precedent of the government making a mistake and then correcting it or just dumb luck?

  4. I was also amazed (and happy) to see the idiotic rule about parking within 300 feet of an airport terminal done away with. I don’t think the government bureaucrats who dreamed that one up had any idea of the impact it would have on airport revenue streams and on overnight / priority shipping for airlines and freight carriers. There are still plenty of stupid security measures out there today, but at least this one is finally off the books.

  5. David: I think you missed some sacrasm in Sullum’s post.

  6. Yes, there are a few bright spots. The Administration quietly dropped its asinine resistance to arming the pilots, and they no longer require that check-in agents ask you the formerly-obligatory and pointless questions.

    Loy isn’t perfect, but he’s a big improvement over his idiot refugee-from-ATF predecessor.

  7. What a great concept! But why not go all the way? Let’s require passengers to dress entirely in Saran Wrap. That would eliminate the need for those expensive wands and metal detectors at the gate; and it would reduce the gross weight of the aircraft, saving tons of jet fuel. It could even start a whole new industry — making wallets and purses out of clear plastic Baggies!

  8. The TSA wants to require all passengers to obtain boarding passes before they get to the gate? Do these people know a thing about airline travel? What about passengers who fly standby? Then again, I should have learned by now. Reality has never before stood in the way of the government expanding its sense of self-importance and justifying its own existence by dreaming up stupid rules and regulations such as this one.

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