Tuesday, April 01, 2008

What Kind of Traveler Are You?

The TSA is trying several things to make travel a bit easier through airports.

The first thing they are "beta testing" is a self-selecting category check-in. There are three "lanes" for you to choose from. There's the black-diamond "Expert" traveler line (yes, like the expert slopes in skiing), there's the green "Family" traveler line, and then there's the red "Casual Traveler" line. The expert traveler knows all the rules - 3-1-1 for liquids, take off your shoes, take out your computer, etc. The family traveler has things to check like strollers and milk bottles. The casual traveler isn't sure what the heck is going on.

I'm all for this, and can't wait for it to roll out everywhere (it's only in select cities right now.) Generally, in podunk Richmond, we don't have much of a security wait at the airport. But in bigger connecting cities -- especially international connecting cities that make you re-check your bag when you come back into the country -- this would be a BIG help to me. If you can't remember to get the change out of your pocket, please get out of my way. :)

The TSA is also testing out a "Serenity Now" theory of check-in. Mellow lighting, mellow tunes and happy, quiet security people (is that an oxymoron?) make for less chaos -- which is actually a help for national security. "Chaos gives camoflauge" for terrorists.

As long as it's not Celene Dion music, I think I could deal.

It also includes a radio scan of passengers' bodies that wouldn't make a stink about artificial hips or nipple rings (did you guys hear about that poor woman? With security guys sniggering while she had to rip out a nipple ring with pliers? Dude, a lawsuit is forthcoming. I would've been on the phone with Gloria Alred immediately.) Meanwhile, it WOULD detect bombs and firearms.

What would you like to see in the security line? I'd like to see:

1. A way that they could scan liquids for explosives, so I don't have to worry about whether my mascara is a liquid.
2. I'd also like to be able to keep my shoes on, becuase YUK! is what I think of the airport floors. My socks get dirty or my bare feet cringe.
3. I'd like to be able to roll my carry-on bag onto the screening table, instead of lifting it, because I pack everything I can in that thing, and it gets heavy.

Photo from TSA Website


Cheysuli and gemini said...

You know the shoe bomb thing--I really loved Al Franken's comment--how are they going to get those shoes close to the cockpit--excuse me--I have really stinky feet so can I place my shoes near the pilot?

Of course, I do not wear shoes so can go to the expert line (except I fly in a private jet everywhere).

Pink Chihuahua Princess said...

I'd like a better way to travel with my girls without the security peeps thinking I'm smuggling drugs in their tummies or something stupid.

My nipples are cringing just reading this! I wonder if she needs an attorney... haha

Renee said...

I don't think this is going to help much as there are idiots who either can't read or think they know what's up when they don't. I still cannot believe that my mother tried to get through security with 16oz full bottles of all her stuff in her carryon...then she got all huffy cuz they dumped it!!! I guess she's been living in a cave.

what I would like to see is everything CLEARLY MARKED!!! The last time we flew the end of the security line was wrapped around baggage claim... the airport needed portable signs that marked where the end of the security line was. "YES! This is the security line and it's end is this way." I would also like to see cattle prods used to get people who are too busy chatting (w/other people or on their phones) to move when the line is moving.

I do have to give kudos to the airports who have folks going through the security line asking if anyone is running late for their flight. While I didn't need it, I thought it was cool.

Lazy Daisy said...

I had to get a new passport since mine expired that has the chip in it..supposedly it makes international travel easier. We'll see.

Goofy Girl said...

I would like the relaxed traveling - serenity now thing. I hate all the rush, the impatience... just relax we'll all get through!

Red said...

I love the idea of a black diamond export lane: I hate queuing behind those doofuses that forget to take their coat off, then take a lifetime to do it. Hurry up, already! I'm behind you with my shoes in my hands, my change in the tray and my trousers hanging round my knees because I've already removed my belt!

Melli said...

I see this coming to a screeching halt when 45 "casuals" see how much shorter the "expert" line is ... and decide they "know enough"... HA!