This year Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made her pitch days after TSA agents let a bunch of boxcutters slip on a JFK flight. You'll recall that the agency's excuse was that boxcutter-like objects on flights aren't really all that disasterous, because there are other layers of protection. Fair enough. But then it's a little churlish of the Secretary to turn around and insistas she did in testimony to Congressthat having to inspect every bag for boxcutter-like objects is taking a financial toll on the agency.
Napolitano's solution? An increase in security fees that would bring the agency an additional $600 million a year, the better to handle the extra bags being checked into flights because of checked-baggage fees. People have been trying to avoid those fees by carrying their bags onto flights, so now Napolitano wants to hit them with a security fee because their bags have to get run through security. Because that's much more efficient than saving money by streamlining TSA's rules.
And for what it's worth, you know what would also have saved TSA lots of money? Not investing billions in their too-intrusive-to-succeed full-body scanners, only to inevitably look past the machines at technology that the public will actually accept. Think how cost-effective that would have been.
· Airline baggage fees mean more carry-on luggage and millions a year in extra security costs [Star Tribune]
· Airport Security [Jaunted]
· Airline Security [Jaunted]