28 March 2011
Anyone who has traveled by air in our post 9/11 world knows the drill by now. From fees for checked baggage to increased security measures, one could argue that airline travel is more of a hassle now than ever. While many of these measures—such as random passenger screenings—have been put in place to protect those who choose to fly, according to this article on CNN.com, a group called the U.S. Travel Association recommends we find ways to make the system more efficient—while keeping security as an important consideration.
The article argues that baggage fees have caused passengers to carry on more luggage than ever, causing congestion through security checkpoints. The U.S. Travel Association recommends requiring all airline carriers to allow the first bag a passenger checks to go free of charge.
Another argument the group makes is that we shouldn’t treat each passenger as if they could be potential terrorist threats. Instead, they propose a “trusted traveler” program where passengers would sign up to volunteer information such as employment history and background check. Once approved for the list, they would be able to enjoy less stringent security procedures.
While the conversation is still its early stages, it brings up an issue that isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. How can we make sure Homeland Security is as robust as it needs to be without inconveniencing the traveling public to the point where they no longer wish to fly?