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April 20, 2004
US to Consider Lowering Airport Security?

US airport security, after having been tightened up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, may be loosened up again in order to allow airport retail businesses to recapture their lost revenue streams:

Pittsburgh International could become the nation's first major airport allowed to abandon the federal government's post-Sept. 11 rule that lets only ticketed passengers proceed past security checkpoints to the gate. If successful, the test might become a model for other airports.

Pittsburgh is a candidate for the experiment for two reasons: It has a centralized security checkpoint, in one terminal, and it has a 100-store shopping mall that has suffered a drop in business because it can be reached only by ticketed passengers.

If successful, I would imagine that Minneapolis-St. Paul airport might be next in line, as our airport has a similar configuration and a substantial retail presence. However, I can't think of a dumber security initiative in a time of war. Non-passengers would have to endure the same security checks as ticketed passengers, making for even longer lines at security checkpoints. Does it make sense to overload security personnel with additional work when they're supposed to focus on real security threats?

And note who they'll be searching, and why. The long wait to get through security will be extended, God knows how long, so that sheeple who aren't even flying can buy overpriced merchandise at the airport instead of going to their local mall, where the prices are better. I don't buy anything except newspapers and magazines at the airport for that reason; the prices are ridiculous. Now travelers will be forced to stand in long lines, tapping their toes impatiently and wondering if they'll make it to the gate, so that fools can pay 20% over retail for clothing or electronics.

Let's hope that this experiment flops quickly, or else we will all need to start planning two-hour early arrivals at our local airports in order to make sure we don't get stuck behind the world's dumbest shoppers.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 20, 2004 6:19 AM

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