Tuesday, October 2, 2007

TSA now checking IDs at airports - government enforcing corporate policy

For all previous airline travel since ID checking began, IDs were checked by representatives of the airline or airport. It was these ID checkers responsibility to check for a valid government issued ID, unless the traveler had been approved by the airline for an additional security screening, in which case they either ensured that the boarding pass was appropriately marked for TSA or directed the traveler to TSA's attention. Since no ID is required by the TSA, it was these representatives who both enforced the airline's ID requirement (usually assumed to be a source of revenue control) and did the screening for ID for TSA.

Now that TSA has taken control of this process, it would appear that TSA is enforcing the airline's revenue control measures. Since TSA doesn't require an ID to fly, if a traveler cannot get the airline to let them fly without ID (e.g. Continental will not mark "SSSS"), will TSA enforce this corporate rule? At this point, it would then be easy for the TSA to suggest to each airline that they require ID, at which point they could deny the right to fly without ID despite their own rule. Is the TSA enforcing corporate policies? Corporate policies limiting free travel that are enforced by federal officers seems one step away from facism.

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