TSA Could Revamp The Screening Process Entirely For COVID-19, But Only After The Pandemic Passes

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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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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  1. Free top tip for TSA security re-org for an immediate efficiency gain at close to zero cost – end the dumbass war on water and shoes

  2. I have to give TSA credit where it’s due. Ideas like PreCheck and the bin-rotating system at some airports (EWR for example) are innovative and helpful to the traveling public.

    The agency’s biggest problem is that a good 20-30% of TSOs are not good. At best, they just stand around doing nothing but leech their hourly wage and government benefits from our onerous taxes. At worst, they’re barking at travelers because they never got a good enough education to learn that’s not a courteous, professional, or respectful way of communication. On that note, TSOs on a power trip need to be canned expeditiously. Let’s keep a bit of dignity in travel, please.

    On a more practical note, the ID and boarding pass scan at the podium is not a security screening. It is airline revenue protection from people swapping tickets. I don’t mind airlines doing this check themselves at the boarding gate, but TSA doing this under the guise of security adds a lot of credence to the claim that TSA screening is politicized security theater.

  3. @Jason – TSA didn’t invent the “bin rotation system” (aka the high capacity lanes), been in use in Europe for years. And unsurprisingly, their version is better as the bins go back into the “stack” at the end automatically (vs. people having to do it at EWR)

  4. @Gary – In a chicken-or-the-egg situation, airlines have to create at least a basic framework of guaranteed flights in order to entice passengers. This is even more crucial with ULCC’s. If I buy a ticket to a leisure destination on Allegiant I certainly don’t want to fly a day or two late for my vacation because the airline doesn’t feel like flying the route as promised.

  5. The first thing they should do is get rid of those disgusting bins, or at least find a way to keep them clean. I’ve hated them for years – where everyone puts their dirty luggage, and even worse – their shoes. I used to cringe whenever I saw someone toss their phone in one.

  6. TSA is security theater and a wasteful jobs program for the bloated defense industrial complex; it is more fiscally responsible to eliminate the entire agency. It’d also have the added side benefit of actually returning some liberty to us citizens.

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