For years TSA has been warning that if you don’t get a ‘REAL ID’-compliant drivers license you won’t be able to fly and I’ve explained that isn’t true because you can fly without ID, in fact people do it all the time.
One argument that critics of airlines speaking out on voting laws have made is that airlines require ID to fly. Of course you an check in via mobile app or online without an ID, and go through security without ID.
In fact, the TSA has now posted a video to its social media explaining the process of flying without ID.
- If you don’t have an ID they accept at the checkpoint, you can show two forms of ‘unacceptable’ ID
- If you don’t have any ID, they will ask you challenge questions to establish your identify. They put in a call to their ID Verification Center and ask you the sort of questions that a bank might ask when you set up an account, such as places you’ve lived in the past.
VIDEO: If you can't find your ID in its normal spot and you need to fly, we have ways to help. Check our link for other acceptable forms of ID. If you don't have an ID that matches our list watch the video for more information. https://t.co/8Uoh3rB2M2 pic.twitter.com/lL6gTkZ9SZ
— TSA (@TSA) April 9, 2021
The TSA even solicited bids for an app to handle the challenge questions, an electronic version of a bridge troll if you will.
ID checks began as security theater after TWA flight 800, President Clinton asked for things he could announce right away. Airlines used to ask for ID to make sure the person traveling was the one that bought the ticket, solely to restrict the resale market for airfare in order to support revenue management systems that increased the price of travel closer to departure (to prevent people from buying tickets cheap and reselling them as travel dates approached — undercutting the airline’s price). Now the government does the airline’s work for them, ostensibly for security but a determined terrorist (the TSA has never caught a single one) doesn’t have much problem flying with fake documents.
The ‘security purpose’ of ID checks is to try to force people to fly under their real names, so that those names can be checked against the government’s highly flawed watch and do not fly lists. Anyone on such a list, intent on committing a terrorist act, would simply choose not to fly under their own name.
(HT: Papers, Please!)