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June 25, 2012

TSA Announces Plan to be Less Touchy

By Julie Griffin, Contributing Writer

Even passengers, who manage to escape the special treatment designated to those under suspicion of concealing underwear bombs, don’t like stripping off their belts and shoes or having their expensive cosmetics tossed out. But now, the Transportation Security Agency claims to sympathize with passengers for having to undergo touchy procedures, and offers a solution to change future protocol. The TSA wants to incorporate state-of-the-art screening technology that will allow passengers to breeze through security points.

According to CNN’s Lizzie O’Leary, after ticket prices, the TSA is one of the biggest aspects about travel that everyone “loves to hate.” With this new technology, the issue passengers have over security checks could be resolved; however, that doesn’t address another issue that O’Leary’s report addresses. Should we pay for it?

In the next seven to ten years, the TSA would like to replace metal detectors with software and cameras, according to a report by the New York Post. With the assistance of x-ray screens, the TSA will no longer require people to strip, take their laptops out of their bags or fish out bath products for pilfering. TSA officials have seen how passengers have become “increasingly vocal,” over such procedures, and so they plan on testing out the new screening technology in La Guardia airport, where discussion about security check renovations are already underway.

One of the issues that the TSA has recognized as seemingly unfair for passengers is making them succumb to the same treatment given to the terrorists that the agency protects them against. No other group has voiced this concern quite like the Sikh Coalition, which created a phone app for people to use when confronted by what they feel is discriminatory behavior. Hopefully with new hi-tech screening, TSA officers will no longer feel the need to pull people aside for wearing turbans.

Now that the TSA is working on improving the flight experience, perhaps airlines will reconsider some of the arbitrary rules they have suggested to be safety protocol, such as banning VoIP on flights. Despite what passengers have been led to believe about VoIP, spokespersons for Delta admitted that the rule banning VoIP is simply because other passengers find it “annoying.” 

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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