Why Airport Security Checkpoint Lines Should Be Short and Quick For Everybody

“I t’s by sheer dumb luck that someone didn’t pull this off in the USA, especially when the ineptitude of the TSA forces 1,000+ people to stand for hours in queues”, opined FlyerTalk member KRSW pertaining to the recent attack at Istanbul Atatürk Airport in Turkey. “I fear it’s only a matter of time before we see a similar attack at a US airport.”

Why Airport Security Checkpoint Lines Should Be Short and Quick For Everybody

The latest updates from multiple sources indicate that there have been 42 fatalities and 239 injuries as a result of three suicide bombers who first shot as many people as possible before detonating themselves at Istanbul Atatürk Airport — which was temporarily closed and all flight operations halted — but a key factor is where those bombs were detonated.

The first bomb was detonated in the Arrivals area on the ground floor of the international terminal of the airport. The second bomb exploded on the first floor at the entrance to the Departures area. The third bomb blasted in the parking lot just outside of the international terminal.

All three bombings occurred relatively close in proximity to each other; and all happened prior to the security checkpoint at landside.

The lengthy lines which snaked for hours at airports across the United States in recent months were all obviously located prior to the security checkpoints — causing one to wonder: what if suicide bombers decided to target only one of those airports? How many people would be “sitting ducks” at the behest of terrorists determined to carry out an agenda?

Summary

Missed flights by passengers due to long lines at airport security checkpoints is unacceptable, resulting in lost time and money in general — as who knows how many millions of dollars and man hours in lost productivity are due to the inefficient policies and systems of the Transportation Security Administration.

My belief is stronger that ever that all lanes of an airport security checkpoint should operate similarly to the Pre✓ program from the Transportation Security Administration — perhaps with the exception of one or two lanes reserved for neophytes of air travel, where friendly agents will assist to ensure that those passengers are processed with as little anxiety as possible — and the time is long overdue where passengers should not have to pay extra money for the privilege of being processed as quickly as possible, as they already pay through taxes charged on their airline tickets. Simplify the rules and policies without sacrificing security in terms of processing passengers at airport security checkpoints.

If that will not work, then perhaps consider my proposal for four different types of lanes at airport security checkpoints in the United States.

Follow those simple common-sense recommendations, and more agents of the Transportation Security Administration do not need to be hired while passengers simultaneously spend significantly less time at airport security checkpoints — all without costing extra money…

…especially as the safety of innocent people could be on the line. Get them beyond the security checkpoint at airports as quickly as possible to mitigate the threat of being maimed or killed by some suicide bomber who has no respect for life or for his or her fellow human beings.

Source: Istanbul Atatürk Airport.

2 thoughts on “Why Airport Security Checkpoint Lines Should Be Short and Quick For Everybody”

  1. John says:

    In principle, I agree; shorter lines are better and safer. But what are you proposing? All lanes except a “neophyte” lane should operate like Precheck? I think that will by definition compromise security. I have Precheck not just from paying for it, but because I went through an interview and background check. Otherwise, it’s assigned randomly at check-in. If Precheck procedures were universal, then everyone would know in advance that they’d get to pass through without taking out electronics and liquids for inspection, removing jackets and shoes, and going through the other standard processes. Is that “safe enough?” I don’t know; maybe it is. Maybe we are being overly vigilant, and exposing ourselves in other ways as a result. But if the current default security measures serve a purpose, then saying “make it all like Precheck,” without the background checks and interviews, would actually hurt safety, wouldn’t it?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I do not believe that safety would be compromised, John — if only for the reason that what happened on September 11, 2001 was due to box cutters, which actually were not a prohibited device; and having the necessary liquids to create a bomb aboard an airplane would be rather difficult.

      As far as for shoes, I do not recall if special equipment is needed — but I believe that footwear can be scanned without having to take them off your feet…

      …but none of that really matters if there is an attack at the landside portion of an airport in the United States similar to the one in Turkey where hundreds of people are standing around in line waiting for hours to get through. Imagine the irony if dozens of people were killed and hundreds more injured primarily because of security procedures at airports. That scenario is more likely to happen than what security checkpoints are supposed to prevent.

      As I have mentioned in past articles, everyone who traveled by car to the airport had a much more significant chance of being injured or killed in an accident on their way to the airport than being killed or injured at any time during traveling by airplane…

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