I was traveling the other day to a remote location in Michigan. I live in a major city. The principle airline is dramatically reducing traffic, so everyone has to go to the smaller concourse now to get a flight. We were leaving at 6:00 am, which means we arrived for departure around 5:00 am on a Monday morning. To my shock, there was a 50 min or so line going into security. I have not seen one like that in a while. As we finally got to security I also noticed two of the security/x-ray lines were not staffed. I asked a TSA agent what was going on with such a long line. The answer was "We are busy". Hmmm.... "Busy", I guess the 50 min line should have been a clue. So, I am thinking "They must know all these people are coming, because we have tickets. The airline knows. How come more TSA agents aren't on site to get us through quicker?"
On my return trip from Michigan, there was no line at the little airport. As a matter of fact, I think there were three passengers and three TSA agents. So, I ask the TSA agent "Do yo all know how many passengers are traveling". She says "Yes". I ask "How". "Well, we record the number each day, around various times, and then estimate when people will travel". "Do you get a list from the airline" I ask. "No, but sometimes they tell us when they add or delete a flight" says she.
Some of you may have seen an article about using special antennas to monitor your progress in security lines based on the movement of your cell phone. Blue-tooth emits a unique identifier that TSA can uses to find your position in line. Civil libertarians are afraid its a violation of your privacy for TSA to track this data when you are in line. So, TSA is trying to reconfigure the system so it does not store your phone identifier.
Now, lets put this all together. TSA is supposed to track everyone who is flying so that we can prevent terrorists from getting on the plane. Theoretically, TSA already knows your are in line at some point to get on that flight. So what if they know your cell phone, they knew that already. And you should probably already have your blue-tooth off, its sort of like screaming out your name in the hall and thinking no one will notice. This is idiotic:
- TSA shouldn't put the blue-tooth system in because the airline can tel them how many people are coming. Screw the ACLU and just avoid the problem.
- It the airline let TSA knows more people have reservations for a flight, they can/should add staff
- More staff at busy times would probably also prevent omissions by security
- TSA should probably also get a bonus based on keeping short lines, but then again they are government so efficiency is sort of a bad thing
Is this is how we plan to run health care? We deserve to get our ass kicked by the Chinese if we are this clueless.