Biometric Airport Security

As a traveller, one of the biggest peeves I have is waiting in line to clear security – especially if I’m running late! Personally, I think the TSA is a bit overboard with their tactics, but I do think they’ve gotten better. On several recent trips, I had bad experiences waiting for security. Flying to Toronto in May, I experienced the longest line I had ever seen at Baltimore Washington International Airport. Coming home from San Francisco for WordCamp, Terminal 3 that houses United Airlines was a madhouse as the line extended out the door. In Seattle last week, the TSA employee was listening to hip hop music on his speaker phone while checking people’s boarding passes. And don’t get me started on the boarding pass checker driolling passengers on their age and destinations. Check the boarding pass and ID and pass them through, man!

San Francisco International Airport just announced biometric “speed passes” (press release) where for $100 you can register at Flyclear and bypass the long lines. That is, after the TSA has presecreened and approved the applicant and fingerprints and retina scans are taken.

I need one.

Clear technologies are in place or will be in place at a bunch of other airports: Albany, Cincinatti, Indianapolis, LaGuardia, Little Rock, New York JFK, Newark, Orlando, Reno, San Jose, and Westchester.

My only question is about the law of diminishing returns. What happens when most people have these speed passes? Do we then get speedier passes?

3 Replies to “Biometric Airport Security”

  1. mmm…
    Not that simple.
    In Israel (Ben Gurion Airport) there is no Biometric scan for security. No way Israeli security forces are going to give up on the regular scan. and believe me Israel is much more exposed to terrorist attacks then America.
    The security scans are very simple, No shoes off, No checking and double checking your boarding pass and ID. and no air blows to detect explosives. I belive what there is there is very professional stuff that can distinguish terrorists from others, even if it damage the privacy and rights of some people. (that’s Israeli Chutzpa)

    where you can find biometric control is the pasport control. The real long lines are on the passport control, there they put biometric scanners to ease the line. very simple, cleaver, and secure!


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