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USA Today Editorial: TSA Takes Sensible Steps to Improving Security, Airport Experience

tsa.gov

USA Today
By Editorial Board

Holiday air travel seems to get more unpleasant with each passing year, especially if you’re flying coach. Planes are packed. Seats are cramped. Overhead bins are overloaded. Free meals are non-existent.

But one part of the airport experience has been improving, and — believe it or not — it’s the part controlled by the government. Four years after the pre-Thanksgiving “don’t touch my junk” uproar over intrusive pat-downs, the Transportation Security Administration has made significant strides toward a more common-sense approach to screening.

TSA has accomplished this even as airlines have made the screeners’ job harder by imposing hefty bag-check fees that encourage fliers to schlep their densely packed luggage through security and onto planes.

The most welcome change at the checkpoint: No longer is everyone — from toddlers to wheelchair-bound octogenarians — treated like a terrorist.

Expedited, “risk-based” security is now available to children under 12, seniors 75 and older, members of the armed services and other low-risk fliers. Most significantly, the PreCheck program has enrolled more than 700,000 travelers who can go through special lanes where they don’t have to remove shoes, belts, light jackets or laptops.

As a result of these and other steps, complaints are down more than 25% and wait times have been reduced, says TSA Administrator John Pistole, who is stepping down next month after four-and-a-half years on the job.

To read more click here.

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