No-ID Flying

Did you know that you’re not legally required to show ID in order to pass through the security checkpoint at the airport? But can it really be done without nine hours of harassment?

Wired News reports that it can. Surprising the pessimists, the boys with the badges actually followed the law and allowed the ID-less passenger through.

I’m not really sure I see the point, since airlines can still require that you show ID to get a boarding pass. But it’s interesting. And one question the passenger raises does make sense: what does his ID have to do with whether he’s carrying a bomb?

3 Responses to No-ID Flying

  1. Jeffrey June 21, 2006 at 10:09 pm #

    I think it’s a process point:
    1) You check in, and they check your name against the list of known problem people (I’m not saying this list is anywhere near perfect, just that that’s the point of this step). Now they give you a boarding pass, connecting your “innocent” face to that pass. This is the first chance to nab bad guys.

    2) You show up at security. To be sure you didn’t hand your boarding pass to someone else, they check it against your ID. Scanning your body, belongings, etc. is the chance to catch people who aren’t known to be a problem.

    The last step isn’t for security, but rather for the airline’s benefit: checking your boarding pass before letting you aboard so they know the person with the ticket is filling the seat. I’ve never known why the airline particularly cares that my butt fills the seat with my name on it, though. I mean, trains don’t care.

  2. weeklyrob June 21, 2006 at 10:22 pm #

    Makes sense to me. Would you be for changing the law to make it legally mandated to show ID at step 2?

  3. Jefrey June 27, 2006 at 4:05 am #

    I’m stunned to hear it’s not required already, so sure.

    Of course, there are a billion other problems with how TSA’s doing this job.

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