Friday, January 18, 2008

Kids take greyhound instead of plane beacuse they don't have ID

Courtney was sending his kids on an airplane trip, but they had no ID, and the TSA mis-informed him that they couldn't fly without it. So, instead, he put them on the greyhound, which he considered much more dangerous for their safety. Courtney should know that if they are under 18, his children don't even require ID. Either way, they could be subjected to an extra search and fly without ID.

I have found several cases where people didn't fly (or told others they couldn't fly) because they don't have ID. These people have lost their right to free movement because they are being mis-informed (or are misinterpreting) rules issued by the government and airlines. There is no excuse for this blatant disregard for transparency by the DHS and TSA -- they need to be very clear what the rights of ordinary travelers are.

Fly without ID to avoid compromising your immigration status

The TSA has been checking visas within passports as part of their ID check for domestic flights. If the see that the visa is no longer valid, they call immigration, at which point people have been detained and arrested. The TSA has confirmed this policy. They have also flagged people for flying with counterfeit or suspicious IDs, who have later been arrested.

Remember, you have the right to fly without showing your ID. If you are unsure that your travel papers are in order, it is better not to show them at all. You will be subject to an additional search, so carry nothing incriminating with you (always a good policy when traveling), but you also will have done nothing wrong.

Full detail about flying without ID are available at this blog, How to Fly without ID

Successfully flew without ID, No extra screening, Laguardia, Jan 17

Airport: LaGuardia (LGA)
Date: January 17, 2008
Reason given: none
Reference: Grant
Airline: ?
Result: Successful
Description: My girlfriend hasn't had a valid ID for a few months now. ... she's been using various forms of expired ID to get into bars and onto planes across the country. ...Passing through security at LaGuardia yesterday, she was prepared for the same questions. Instead however, in blatant disregard for protocol she just got waved through by the security officer. Nobody asked for ID. Anywhere.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Successfully flew without ID, Washington Reagan, January 9

Airport: Washington National (DCA)
Date: January 9, 2008
Reason given: Lost ID
Reference: Ricardo
Airline: American
Result: Successful
Description: Incredibly, the [American Airlines] lady handed me a boarding pass, and my UVA ID, and told me that I would be subjected to "special screening" at security....I approached the guy who checks ID's with trepidation, handing him my boarding pass and UVA ID. "Don't you have a government-issued ID?" he asked, with a marked note of incredulity in his voice.
"No, just this" I answered sheepishly, pointing at my pathetic little university ID. I thought of mentioning the fact that UVA is a state agency, and that my UVA ID is therefore, technically speaking, a government-issued photo ID, but then I thought that it's best not to argue with TSA.
"Well, you've been selected by the airline for special screening," he added, pointing me into the security line. I nodded, and approached the line, taking off my shoes and taking out my laptop . . . The person at the metal detector looked at my boarding pass and told me that I'd been selected for special screening. She sent me to stand in this glass corridor with a door at the end. The man at the x-ray machine gathered my stuff and came to get me. ...
They took me to that special area they have to run my bags through the "will-it-blow-up" test, and to pat me down. That was it. They weren't even mean! I was treated nicely, and told to have a good flight. Now I'm sitting at the gate, completely indistinguishable from the other passengers, the ones who brought their government-issued photo ID. Nobody knows!!! No one is staring! The woman across from me has a styrofoam cup that she could hurl at me, but she's not even thinking about it. I'm typing on my laptop, and looking forward to my aisle seat.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Successfully flew without ID, Gulfport, January, 2008

Airport: Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport (GPT)
Date: January, 2008
Reason given: Lost ID
Reference: Chris Connor
Airline: AirTran
Result: Successful
Description: My return trip was uneventful, but I can say that TSA in Gulfport was very thorough. As they went through all of my pants pockets, hat, jacket, shoes, and every lens, camera, and pocket on my camera bag I began to hope that they were going to find my license! It was not to be, but I did find out that the TSA screener was a photography buff and liked my equipment.

Successfully flew without ID, Dallas/Fort Worth, January, 2008

Airport: Dallas/Ft Worth (DFW)
ID Offered: None
Date: January, 2008
Reason given: Lost ID
Reference: Chris Connor
Airline: AirTran
Result: Successful
Description: I explained my situation to the Air Tran agent and she told me that it was possible to travel without ID, but I would be subjected to a more thorough check from TSA. Going through the DFW Airport TSA security checkpoint took a little longer, but they were very understanding and helpful. They provided me with a few phone numbers to call just in case my license was found or returned. While I was waiting on my flight, I made all of the necessary phone calls to the numbers the provided, but the license was still lost.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Chertoff suggests thousands will get secondary screening during the first steps of REALID

We have heard that under REALID, everyone will require a REALID to fly. However, at least during the early steps, it appears that fliers without a REALID may all be subject to a secondary screening. That will include lots of people from states who haven't adhered to the new rules. Obviously, this is not actually practical, but it makes an interesting threat. From the AP article:

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who was unveiling final details of the REAL ID Act's rules today, said that if states want their licenses to remain valid for air travel after May 2008, those states must seek a waiver indicating they want more time to comply with the legislation.

Chertoff, as he revealed final details of the REAL ID Act, said that in instances where a particular state doesn't seek a waiver, its residents will have to use a passport or a newly created federal passport card if they want to avoid a vigorous secondary screening at airport security.
The new revelations bring up lots of interesting legal and constitutional issues. Suddenly, people from some states will be treated as second class citizens (and denied the right to travel?) because the federal enforcement refuses to recognize the legal documents of the state. More startlingly, people under 50 will be treated differently than those over 50. That's right, initially those over 50 won't need a real ID, but those under 50 will. I doubt that discrimination by state and by age in this manner will hold up in court, and I look forward to a quick demise of real ID by lawsuit.

Suddenly, moving about in this country seems a whole lot more scary.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Supreme Court and being American without IDs: against the tide?

By: Kawnipi,

Another ID case is at the Supreme Court. Today they are hearing
arguments against a law in Indiana requiring ID to vote. People that
don't have ID can vote, but have to travel to the county seat to sign an
affidavit within ten days. Early indications suggest that the supreme
court will side with the state and allow the stringent ID requirement.
I have seen no discussion for this case about government imposing a
requirement to carry ID, a requirement which otherwise does not exist,
but perhaps it is becfause voting is so widely recognized as a
privilege, and not a right.

Like several other cases surrounding ID, if decided in favor of the
state, this case will contribute to the general movement towards
requiring ID for survival and participation in American life.
Currently, many regulations and customs de facto require showing ID to
the federal government to move about, either to the TSA for flight or to
Amtrak for trains, or, for example, to guards in federal buildings and
court houses, or to local police upon request. As discussed in this
blog, most fliers can usually fly without ID if they are willing to
subject themselves to a more intensive screening. This provision of the
secret law was revealed by the Supreme Court itself; however because the
law is secret, this blog documents how it is subject to the whims of the
executive branch.

We want a guarantee of "life and liberty" without meddling from the
government, but the bounds of liberty are always relative in society. If
the ways of our society are moving towards requiring each person to
carry a little plastic card, no matter if the law requires it or not,
then as much as we may abhor it, to fight seems an uphill battle. In
fighting it, we lose some of our own enjoyment of life, and
inconvenience those who don't hope for the same. Is this fight worth it?
If this case goes to the state, perhaps we will all rethink how much
time, energy and inconvenience we are willing to expend to stick up for
our liberty, and for the rule of law.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Unsuccesful at flying without ID at Newark Airport, November, 2007

Airport: Newark (EWR)
ID Offered: None
Date: November, 2007
Reference: sbm12
Reason given: Want to fly without ID
Result: Unsuccessful
Description: So yesterday I had another failed attempt to clear security without showing ID, this time at EWR. A supervisor was called, who then called the PAPD "to observe" and a "manager" who wouldn't give me his actual title and then when I asked for a spelling of his last name said "spell it any way you want" came over to instruct the PAPD guy to make sure that I was removed from the premises if I caused any more trouble. He asked if I was testing them, accused me of recording the conversation (I had my laptop open with an external EvDO card that he thought was a camera) and he suggested that I call the local news station and that they'd still refuse me access.

I got names and badge numbers and the like, and the most thorough secondary screening of my life - at least 6 different agents involved, followed by a significant debrief for the whole group of agents on duty - probably 8-10 folks standing at the back end of security when I finally did clear.

So what do you say to the ID check agent? I'd prefer not to lie, so I don't want to tell a sob story about havin my license stolen or something like that.

Also, who should I write to about this, other than my congress-critters? Anyone have the name/address of someone at EWR that would actually make sure that the TSA staff there gets appropriate training?