TSA Hikes Up Security for Now, with 'Trusted Traveler' Program on the Way
TSA continues to play the game where they aren't officially raising the terror alert level, but they're increasing airport security as if they've officially raised the terror alert level. The agency is committed, for kind of silly bureaucratic and political reasons, to keeping the security level stable, so this is apparently how they're going to do this. But of course they're not actually pretending like nothing's happened in the last week. Instead they're quietly increasing their vigilance while telling everybody that nothing's changed.
So while California and New York rails are both on official alerts this morning, we've got to go to the New York Times to find out thatyes indeed"Department of Homeland Security officials have reviewed potential terrorist targets and deployed extra security at airports."
As we've been telling you all week, just because TSA isn't telling you to leave extra time before your flight, that doesn't mean you shouldn't leave extra time before your flight.
Not all the post-Bin Laden changes are going to be bad though. There's wide talk about how this victory against Al Qaeda might allow us to decrease some of our post-9/11 security measures. TSA is looking at creating a trusted traveler program that would speed more people through checkpoints. No taking out laptops. No slipping off shoes. No full-body scanners. The final details haven't been worked out yet, but the plan calls for mining frequent-flyer programs and giving "trusted travelers" a boarding pass bar code to get through security faster.
This program has been in the works for a while, and now it looks like it might just happen. The only down side? We may never have another chance to write about the single dumbest airport security idea ever, which TSA was actually considering for a while.