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Pay the TSA $100 and Bypass Airport Security

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the front-of-the-line dept.

Government 527

An anonymous reader writes "Catching a flight in the U.S. isn't a great experience anymore due to the security checks involved. You have to remove your shoes, your belt, get your laptop out, be scanned and subjected to radiation in the process. Hundreds of other people are doing the same thing, meaning it takes 40 minutes instead of four. Now, the TSA has come up with a clever, money-making alternative. Instead of scaling back security or speeding it up, you can instead pay $100 and bypass it completely!"

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All I can say is (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372255)

W.T.F??
Oh, and first post!

Re:All I can say is (5, Informative)

AmigaMMC (1103025) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372423)

It's not exactly like that, and it's not exactly new. First you have to pass a rigorous background check, the same one I passed to work for an airline.

Re:All I can say is (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372599)

Is it as rigorous as the background check needed to be hired as a TSA employee?

Re:All I can say is (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372733)

Yeah- you have be able to order pizza (and read the ad on the box) or pump gas (and read the ad on the pump).

Yes- the TSA hires from ads on Pizza boxes and gas pumps.

http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=97&sid=2000678 [federalnewsradio.com]

Re:All I can say is (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372607)

How exactly is it a rigorous background check for only $100? Before hiring employees, most large financial services firms spend thousands on background checks. In fact it cost an old company I worked at nearly $20k to anal probe, urine test, and strip search me when they went to hire me.

Re:All I can say is (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372761)

That sounds a bit excessive.

Re:All I can say is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372797)

so... you enjoy the probing...

Re:All I can say is (5, Funny)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372875)

so... you enjoy the probing...

"it still beats dealing with the airlines"

Re:All I can say is (5, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372795)

So the choice is rigorous background check or rigorous backside check. Great!

Re:All I can say is (4, Interesting)

marcop (205587) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372867)

You work for the airline. It's expected as part of your employment. Freedom of travel is a protected liberty. All air travelers have to be treated equally since the government forces certain security checks before flying. That is fine. What is happening now is that there is discrimination based on wealth and probably nationality (you know who will NEVER get a prescreening invite). The government cannot do either; it's illegal and in violation of equal protection laws. Wealth discrimination by private companies (i.e. airlines offering first class services) is not illegal, but it is for the government.

Re:All I can say is (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372425)

Indeed! WTF?! What the fuck took them so long?

Unless... oh dear... don't tell me they ever actually thought they were making us safer. I mean, I know the gate jockeys who feel you up or bark at you to stand still while they look through your clothes are actually convinced they're standing between terrorists and our safety, but I guess I just assumed that the guys at the top, the ones who completed high school, were smart enough to realize they were scamming us.

Re:All I can say is (1)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372509)

"What could possibly go wrong?!?"

Worth every penny. (4, Funny)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372265)

But I'd pay double to just be shot out of a cannon at the target landing zone or something - anything instead of having to spend the rest of the 6 hour journey with the same people I had to stand in line with.

Thespians (5, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372267)

Secuity theater has been on the decline from comedy to tragedy for a while. Now it is simply a farce. It is about control and money and the illusion of security.

Re:Thespians (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372347)

"Sorry, citizen, now that it's in the Free Market, it's no longer our concern. We trust that you understand, and remind you that you may worship at the Wal-Mart of your choice."

Re:Thespians (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372589)

Because it's free market when it's government regulations...

Re:Thespians (5, Funny)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372783)

The TSA will be checking at the aisles there soon too. The agents will double as customer service.

"Welcome to Wal-Mart! Would you like a shakedown, staredown, or gropedown?"

"Nah, I just want a flatscree--"

"GUARDS! Terrorist with a bomb and a Quran on aisle 5!"

"I can barely read the New York Post let alo--" *gets tackled to floor with a thud*

Re:Thespians (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372469)

Secuity theater has been on the decline from comedy to tragedy for a while. Now it is simply a farce. It is about control and money and the illusion of security.

The TSA should receive an award. Is there a Golden Raspberry equivalent to a Tony award?

Re:Thespians (5, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372555)

Indeed.

I'd sooner deal with the 1 in 1 billion odds (TSA estimate from the article) that I will step on a plane destined for being blown-up, then the 1-to-1 odds that I or my wife will be sexually assaulted (or Xrayed).

What's worse is the TSA is extending this BS to train terminals, along highways (border state checkpoints), and post offices, hotels, unemployment/social security centers. Except they call themselves VIPR instead of TSA. What a perfectly Orwellian name! :-|

Great! (5, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372279)

Now only terrorists who can afford the $100 can take a bomb on your plane.

Re:Great! (5, Insightful)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372289)

I doubt the Saudis who did 9/11 would have had too much trouble raising $100.

Re:Great! (5, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372311)

No no you mean the terrorists from Afghanistan.

Re:Great! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372363)

No no no you mean those terrorists from Iraq, er, Iran.

We've always been friends with Iraq... (5, Informative)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372853)

and always been at war with Iran. The ministry of truth keeps all the old newspapers updated so that I can verify that fact.

Did you hear that the chocolate rations are going up again?

Re:Great! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372369)

Who gives a fuck. Born here, raised there, trained somewhere else. The bottom line is that they're all faggot Allah lovers who take their social structure from the words of a child molesting dick smoker named Mohammad.
 
Fuck Mohammad! Fuck Allah! Fuck Islam!!!!!

Re:Great! (4, Insightful)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372411)

Said the AC.

Re:Great! (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372579)

Are you kidding... the Mullahs are at this very moment planning a Jihad on all the ACs on the planet now just to get this clown!

Re:Great! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372837)

Oh shit.

Re:Great! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372673)

And passed through customs by the Mossad agents working with the Israeli-owned security companies with the airport contracts in question.

Who is ultimately served by expensive US aggression in the Middle East? Israel meets its objectives without going broke. Nice.

And you're a hate-spewing retarded monkey, btw. One among millions. No wonder this country is on the rocks.

Re:Great! (3, Insightful)

ehiris (214677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372353)

As if this security is really to prevent terrorists and not to make a bunch of cowardly sheep feel better about flying.

Re:Great! (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372467)

Even better! Now the somewhere-just-above-middle-of-bottom sheep get to feel more important than the sheep who weren't invited to enjoy shorter lines in Citizen+ class!

Nothing destroys somebody's motivation to deal with the torrent of shit flowing down the hill quite like the knowledge that there is somebody just a bit further down than he is. With any luck, we will soon be rolling the program out to cover traffic offenses, modest drug possession, and suspicion of tax fraud, making dealing with the justice system easier and more comfortable for the people who count.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372665)

At least until one decides to target one of those 300 people lines...

Re:Great! (5, Informative)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372401)

From TFA:

Enrolling [in Precheck] requires a $100 application fee for a background check, plus a brief interview with a Customs officer.

Once in Precheck, TSA still checks names against terrorism watch lists before every flight, just as it does for other travelers. If a passenger is cleared for Precheck screening, a code is embedded in a traveler's boarding pass.

Precheck members usually get to use security lines set up for first-class and elite-level frequent fliers. But Precheck travelers actually don't know if they will get to use the easy screening until the TSA officer checking IDs actually scans the boarding pass. If the pass has the code, a Precheck passenger is steered to a separate screening lane for what amounts to old-style airport screening.

TSA says Precheck members are selected randomly for regular screening to enhance security. But that unpredictability irks frequent travelers. The agency doesn't make travelers go to the end of the regular screening line, however, but instead slips them into the front of the regular queue.

So it's a bit more complicated than waving a Benjamin in front of your friendly TSA employee. Though that probably works, too.

Re:Great! (2)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372451)

Oops, strike that first line. The $100 gets you into the U.S. Customs "Global Entry" program, which also puts you in Precheck.

There is also the alternative free method "To qualify, frequent fliers must meet undisclosed TSA criteria and get invited in by the airlines."

So spending a hundred bucks still looks like your best bet.

Re:Great! (4, Funny)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372663)

Global Entry *and* Precheck? This is a fantastic 2-for-1 deal! Now, when I'm flying into the US to bomb a domestic flight, I don't have to wait in line at customs, I can just hail a cab and I'm off to Home Depot for box cutters and fertilizer. America sure is the land of convenience!

Re:Great! (1)

neile (139369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372571)

Your "[in Precheck]" addition is incorrect. Enrolling in Global Entry, a trusted traveler program run by USCIS, costs $100. Precheck costs nothing.

Neil

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372785)

From TFA:

Enrolling [in Precheck] requires a $100 application fee for a background check, plus a brief interview with a Customs officer.

Once in Precheck, TSA still checks names against terrorism watch lists before every flight, just as it does for other travelers. If a passenger is cleared for Precheck screening, a code is embedded in a traveler's boarding pass.

So if your name is Ted Kennedy or Guadalupe Ortiz, save your $100, is that what you're saying?

Guadalupe Ortiz is actually the name of a Mexican tourist agency involved in drug money laundering. But it's a common enough name that periodically I hear about someone names Ortiz getting flack because they're on the list.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372805)

Ah I see the first stumbling block for the typical Muslim terrorist right there, the terrorism watchlist.

Re:Great! (1)

symes (835608) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372723)

Why bother with the $100? Just steal the identity of a frequent flier

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372789)

How long until the code embedded in the boarding pass is cracked? If the code is meant to be deciphered by the naked eye, it's got to be remarkably simple.

I knew freedom had a price.... (5, Funny)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372287)

...but I didn't expect it to be just cash money, and I certainly didn't expect it to be so low.

Re:I knew freedom had a price.... (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372333)

TSA Menu:

Skip opening suitcase - $10
Skip opening computer - $10
Skip taking off shoes - $5
Skip anal probe - $250
Skip groping - $500 for hunk or babe; free for everyone else.

Re:I knew freedom had a price.... (2)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372341)

That's not a ticket to freedom, that's an indulgence.

Re:I knew freedom had a price.... (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372349)

Read TFA, it's a $100 fee to apply for Precheck clearance. They check you out and grant clearance if you qualify, if not you lose the $100. They don't tell you what the qualifications are.

Sounds like "American freedom" to me...

Re:I knew freedom had a price.... (4, Funny)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372427)

And yet I get strange looks when I use my CCW permit as my "government issued picture ID"

Fingerprints, FBI background check, etc.

Re:I knew freedom had a price.... (1)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372473)

They don't tell you what the qualifications are White skin? Check. No towel on head? Check.

Re:I knew freedom had a price.... (2)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372495)

So the US president wouldn't qualify? Interesting

Not that it matters... since he has his own private aircraft anyways, but I'm just sayin'.

Re:I knew freedom had a price.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372727)

If they're brown pat them down, if they're black send them back. That's just standard TSA protocol.

Re:I knew freedom had a price.... (2)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372537)

So all it costs a terrorist organization is $100 apiece to determine if their suicide bombers are going to be able to carry a bomb on the plane or not?

Inconceivable!

Re:I knew freedom had a price.... (3, Insightful)

Known Nutter (988758) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372661)

They don't tell you what the qualifications are.

Just a guess, but they're probably not entirely different than the requirements for a TWIC Card [tsa.gov] , also issued by the TSA to gain access to secure areas such as maritime ports, refineries, and other "sensitive" locations.

I do have a TWIC card. It's always interesting (scary?) when I present the federal credential to a TSA agent at an airport. Although the TWIC card provides no access to airport facilities, it is a valid form of government ID issued by the TSA, Most agents are familiar with it, but one agent, after checking my boarding pass and waving me on asked me "what is this TWIC thing, anyway?"

Security theater!

Re:I knew freedom had a price.... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372751)

So a cheap and easy way of seeing which of your guys are free of suspicion and so have the best chance of a successful attack.

Re:I knew freedom had a price.... (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372801)

And even if you are approved, you will still be "randomly" given the gate rape + cancer cannon treatment, you just get to cut in line after they say "sorry, random enhanced security check".

this is how they plan to fix the deficit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372519)

Want to do something ostensibly illegal? Pay cash money to ignore the laws.

Just wait, every man will have his price.

Re:I knew freedom had a price.... (1)

iiii (541004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372613)

Freedom isn't free! It cost folks like you and me.
And if we don't all chip in, we'll never pay that bill.
Freedom isn't free! No there's a hefty fucking fee.
And if you don't throw in your buck o'five who will?

If you don't throw in your buck o'five who will?
Ooh... buck o'five

Freedom cost a buck o'five

(please visualize this sung by marionettes.)
Parker and Stone 'Putting The "F" Back In Freedom'

Re:I knew freedom had a price.... (1)

ikarys (865465) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372781)

It's waaay higher than it should be.

Freedom should only cost a buck o five.

wrong summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372309)

Reading the summary it seems all a terrorist would need is a 100 dollars extra and security would be piece of cakw. Off course it didn't mention that according to the article you need to be qualified first.

USA USA USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372323)

Bribery is a tradition I can get behind.

Re:USA USA USA (1)

captjc (453680) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372533)

To quote the philosophers, Sam and Max,

Sam: Cash. Never leave home without it.
Max: Yeah. We may need it to bribe slippery government officials.

Well, if you were in the Third World (5, Insightful)

medcalf (68293) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372329)

You could do the same thing, but cheaper. Seriously, how is this fundamentally different from legalized bribery?

Re:Well, if you were in the Third World (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372485)

Because bribery would be illegal...

Re:Well, if you were in the Third World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372535)

...because you are getting a serious background after you pay the $100. This is the same as Nexus, which has existed for years for entry to the US, has priority lines and much lighter screening...

Wrong summary (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372331)

The TSA's new program, Precheck, is free (right now it's by invitation only though). The $100 is for Global Entry, the program that lets you skip the lines for immigration. If you have Global Entry you automatically get Precheck, but Global Entry is not necessary for Precheck.

I hate the TSA as much as the next guy (probably more than most since I'm an international student and have to put up with their stupid security theater often), but get your facts straight.

Re:Wrong summary (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372371)

The fact is that if you wave money, you can get around any "security check". You can, of course, interpret this fact in any other convenient way of your choosing.

Re:Wrong summary (2)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372639)

No, that's not the fact at all if you RTFA. You just get to go in a different line that has an expedited process (ie. it's back to the normal, sane level of security checks that existed before 9/11).

Everyone still goes through the security check, some people just get treated a lot better than others - like the Congressman who in 2004 literally tried to walk through with a loaded gun in his briefcase, and was "detained briefly" and given a plea bargain with no jail time. If it were anyone else they'd still be locked up without trial...

Re:Wrong summary (3, Funny)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372393)

I don't think I want to request Global Entry from people who take naked pictures of me, or who wear rubber globes and feel me up.

Free Market at work (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372337)

In other countries, they call this Bribery and Corruption. In certain quarters of the US, it is worshipped as the "Free Market". Right up there with "campaign contributions".

from TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372357)

"We can reduce the size of the haystack when we are looking for that one-in-a-billion terrorist," said TSA Administrator John Pistole.

lets hope those 6 guys dont have 100 bucks to throw at this scheme!

Either the TSA believes terrorists are cheap (2)

crioca (1394491) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372367)

Or they feel so secure in their position that they're comfortable dropping the pretext that what they do is anything other than a huge scam. "We can reduce the size of the haystack when we are looking for that one-in-a-billion terrorist," said TSA Administrator John Pistole." That would mean that the TSA believes there's approximately six or seven terrorists in the world, so why is all of this necessary again?

This is going to be free eventually. (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372375)

The TSA is going to do an opt in background check on everyone that flies and if you do it you can go through a fast line.

And it will be free...

Really... if they make this reasonable it might solve the problem.

Have to hand it to the TSA. They were getting very close to getting terminated.

Let the TSA be disolved. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372385)

Is there any excuse now not to abolish the TSA in it's entirety? If anyone can pay 100$ and get on the plan with no checks, that means either the checks were ineffective to begin with, or were unneeded, besides the blatant greed over safety.

It's like the government wants to spark a revolution in America.

Can that be charged ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372407)

... on a credit card? And if the terrorist blows the plane and himself up, does he still have to pay the card bill?

"Unpredictable" (1)

supersat (639745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372415)

If a passenger is cleared for Precheck screening, a code is embedded in a traveler's boarding pass. ... But Precheck travelers actually don't know if they will get to use the easy screening until the TSA officer checking IDs actually scans the boarding pass. If the pass has the code, a Precheck passenger is steered to a separate screening lane for what amounts to old-style airport screening.

Because terrorists don't have PDF417 scanners. Or PDF417 generators. I would be somewhat surprised if they actually did a proper DB lookup based on a boarding pass barcode.

Re:"Unpredictable" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372807)

I think the TSA is hoping that if a PDF417 generator costs X dollars that they terrorists will end up with X - 100 dollars after enrolling in Precheck.

Re:"Unpredictable" (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372831)

They do now [racoindustries.com] .

ummm (1)

alienzed (732782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372417)

this is a joke right?

Requires a background check (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372445)

So, $100, and a background check, and "some" of the time (up to 80%!) you bypass the regular security line until more people are in the program?

The background check bothers me. It just screams "We lost with the scanners, so instead we'll leverage getting rid of them to do a background check on every individual before they can fly".

Sorry... mathematics nazi. (1, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372447)

FTA:

"We can reduce the size of the haystack when we are looking for that one-in-a-billion terrorist"

I hate it when people thoughtlessly mention large numbers in conversation when they clearly have no concept whatsoever of scale.

There are approximately 7 billion people in the world... so by the above gentleman's assessment, there would be only 7 terrorists, worldwide.

Seriously?

Sorry... pet peeve of mine.

Re:Sorry... mathematics nazi. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372645)

yes, Seriously. He knows exactly what he's saying.

Re:Sorry... mathematics nazi. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372825)

I think you have a misunderstanding of the context. Sure, there are more than 7 terrorists in the world. But the air transport industry handles 2.75 billion customers each year. Of those 2.75 billion per year, if only 2-3 are terrorists looking to actively carry out an act of terrorism in the air, then he is correct.

Re:Sorry... mathematics nazi. (4, Interesting)

microbee (682094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372833)

I haven't seen a terrorist since 9/11. Have you?

Re:Sorry... mathematics nazi. (1)

6ULDV8 (226100) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372835)

There are approximately 7 billion people in the world... so by the above gentleman's assessment, there would be only 7 terrorists, worldwide.

Seriously?

For a sufficiently large quantity of 7, yes.

Re:Sorry... mathematics nazi. (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372879)

"We can reduce the size of the haystack when we are looking for that one-in-a-billion terrorist"

"There are approximately 7 billion people in the world... so by the above gentleman's assessment, there would be only 7 terrorists, worldwide."

Actually, what is important is how many people pass the security checks. my grandma never took the plane, so she does not count at all, TSA never see her. But my boss takes 10 planes a year, so he actually count for 10 people.

Not sure that the 1 in a billion statement is true. But what matters is how many time a security check is done on an airport.

I can understand the cost (1)

Woogiemonger (628172) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372489)

A full blown investigation takes a lot more resources than the 2 minute check on line at the airport. For those who travel often enough where it becomes a serious issue, I can see offering this rather expensive option, while also removing these frequent fliers from the everyday security traffic. If they're turning a profit on this, using this to generate revenue for the TSA, then we have the right to be angry.

Something people may not have caught... (5, Interesting)

Rone (46994) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372497)

The article mentioned a couple things that have profoundly disturbing implications when considered together:

1) This expedited screening program is by invitation only.

2) The TSA agents staffing the expedited checkpoints are smiling and extra-friendly.

So now, air travel has a caste system. VIPs (everybody who might possibly have a chance to successfully reform/dismantle the TSA) get kid glove treatment, and the filthy plebes get the rude assholes who steal stuff from your luggage and molest your children with complete impunity.

Joy.

Re:Something people may not have caught... (1)

marcop (205587) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372707)

Air travel has always had a caste system. What's different now is that the government is getting in on the profits to the caste system. This might actually might violate equal protection and non-discrimination laws. You know no-one with Arab names will be invited.

I hope the TSA get LOTS of flack for this.

Once again /.'s summary deviates from reality. (5, Informative)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372507)

Precheck does not let you "pay $100 and bypass it [TSA security] completely!" All it does is let you leave computers, liquids (within TSA guidelines) etc in your bag and not take off shoes, belts, etc. Your stuff is still x-rayed, you still go through a metal detector; the big advantages you're in a line with people who actually understand the drill and don't screw up the process by bringing in a bottle of water, etc and the line is shorter.

To do this, you go through a background check and TSA interview, plus pay $100. It's an outgrowth of the SENTRI and Global Entry programs, which let you avoid the long immigration lines when returning to the US. And yes, it's worth every penny if you fly a lot.

Re:Once again /.'s summary deviates from reality. (1)

j2.718ff (2441884) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372721)

About being in the line with people who know the drill... many airports have been putting up signs at the different lines - eg: This line is for "expert travelers", this line is for families, and others who need more time. Naturally, being the model of efficiency they are, these signs tend to be at the very front of the line, thus you'd have no chance of knowing which line you're in until you've been waiting in it for several minutes.

You only have to pay $50 (3, Informative)

neile (139369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372525)

And it's not to the TSA. Another spectacular Slashdot story title and summary.

People who have already been screened and approved for the Global Entry ($100) or NEXUS ($50) program are automatically eligible for pre-check. The TSA isn't making (or receiving) any money on this. The money is to pay for the background check and screening done to get into the trusted traveler programs run by customs and immigration.

The TSA is actually being *smart* here. If you've already been checked and interviewed for expedited entry into the country, why *wouldn't* you be trusted for expedited security screening at an airport?

Neil

The benfits of a.... (1)

powerspike (729889) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372527)

So you can bypass them now for a payment. If anything doesn't justify removing them completely? as you can bypass their soul purpose for a little bit of cash. If the "bad guys" can afford plan tickets, i'm quite sure they won't worry about an extra $100, even more so if they don't expect to land...

For the people that matter. (5, Insightful)

Sean_Inconsequential (1883900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372549)

The article makes it seem as though the offer will only be extended to those who, due to flying frequently, are invited to the program by air lines. So really it is for CEOs, celebrities, and politicians that fly frequently to avoid those few run-ins that they have had in the past. Maybe it is just cynicism, but I am feeling like this is just "we are trying to be better" posturing masking an attempt hopefully prevent accidentally groping someone that can use their social position to have their voice easily heard by a large number of people.

Re:For the people that matter. (1)

sjhwilkes (202568) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372693)

No it's widely open as anyone can apply for a Global Entry card and pay $100 for the background check. If you're not a GE user then yes right now it's elite frequent fliers only, but that was partly by design - folks that fly frequently will both gain the most and be the most frequent to not be extra traffic in the regular lines.
The thing trusted traveler users are complaining about is that there's a random element to it - you can be sent to the regular security and still have to take your shoes off and go through the x-ray etc. So you can't count on saving that 10 minutes every time. I'm a Global Entry user, which has been great returning from abroad, but have never had the nod for the expedited screening line yet (0 for 4), and wouldn't want to time things close enough for ten minutes to make a difference anyhow. When I finally do get to go that way it's just a few more minutes in the lounge I guess.

So how do I qualify? (5, Funny)

Teppy (105859) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372581)

I just need to not have a history of not being a suicide bomber?

Are you nervous? (3, Interesting)

weave (48069) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372603)

I got Global Entry. My interview was touch-and-go. I got grilled pretty heavily and finally the agent said "Why are you nervous? Are you nervous?" and I was like "I wasn't nervous until now" and then he asked "are you on any medication?" I thought for sure I was going to get denied, but I passed.

We make fun of TSA a lot but they do do a background check on you, the interview is looking for certain tells, and even with the pre-check you never know when you'll go through the expedited line or express. I'm betting the agent that scans the BP can also look for tells and push you through the normal line even if the BP says you can go through the quick one.

Also, Global Entry really delivers on re-entry into the country, especially if you're sitting up front. I'm in my car 10 minutes after the door opens (I know where to park right outside the arrivals hall, which helps too)

Proving once again (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372631)

It isn't about security and the TSA just sucks.

The mask finally slips (1)

Tasha26 (1613349) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372633)

Now we know what they were really after: Make a system so excruciatingly unbearable that you'll want to pay anything to skip it. Bunch of scumbags [youtube.com] !

simpler and cheaper (2, Insightful)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372683)

Bypass everything in the US touched by the government. Dump the dollars, don't go to the US. Nothing, as it becomes overrun with orwellian BO (Bushie-Obamite statists etc devolving parallel to the UK example) . Hitler and Mussolini could only dream of the coercive powers being developed in the US.

Almost worth it (1)

bolthole (122186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372717)

It's ALMOST worth it... except for the fact that you have to pay the $100 every year, if I recall correctly.

Shake down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372745)

Does this smell a little like extortion to anyone else?

Pay $100 and my friend Bubba over there won't touch your testicular region.

Security for the 1% (1)

enaso1970 (759924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372829)

Why do we bother to expect any kind of equal treatment any more? It's by invitation - are you going to get one? If our government and justice are for sale, why are we surprised that our security is?
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