TSA Two

Came home via DCA. At the first-line security screening station leading to the gates served by American Airlines (slogan: We Own MIA™), the lady whose job it is to compare ID to tickets was in an officious mood and the short line was moving very slowly (the Brits a few people ahead of me were questioned for about three minutes).

Normally when I present my battered Florida Drivers License, screeners just compare the name to the ticket and wave me through. (See Bruce Schneier on why this whole ID check is pretty silly because it is so easy to bypass). They never even check the expiration date of the license, which shows that it expired several years ago. I travel a lot and you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of US screeners (foreign ones are much better) who have questioned this or bothered to turn it over to see the renewal sticker.

But this lady not only noticed, she complained that I had stuck the sticker on upside down! Although if you think of it, whether it's upside down depends on which axis you rotate …

But that's not all. Having satisfied herself that my license was in fact valid, she proceeded to scrutinize the photo. Admittedly, it's more than a decade old, so I'm not only clean shaven but younger. But did she have to say, accusingly, “you are a lot thinner in this picture”?

Anticlimatically, there were no puffers.

Earlier entry on TSA and puffers (don't miss the great comments).

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