Security: Airport: July 2007 Archives


July 28, 2007

A few weeks ago, Dan Wallach told me about his experience flying without ID. Dan had forgotten his ID and didn't have time to go back and get it. After some fumbling, the airlines and the TSA figured out that he could still fly as long as he went through secondary screening. I can more or less confirm this procedure.

On my flight back from ORD this morning, I presented my drivers license, which was expired by less than a week. The contractor checking my ID started counting on her fingers (figuring out what the date was? seeing if I was within some grace period?) and then asked me if I had an extension. I didn't1 , so she told me I had to go through secondary screening. I said "OK", and she wrote "NO ID" on my ticket and sent me over to secondary, where I got the same slightly less cursory than usual screening as I would have gotten if I'd been randomly selected.

By the way, when did your right to be frisked by someone of the same gender turn into the requirement that you be frisked by someone of the same gender? I and two other men stood in line for about five minutes waiting for a male TSA agent to be available, even though a female agent was free. The man in front of me explicitly offered to waive the gender match requirement but no dice.

1. Truth be told, I did have my passport, but I was curious what would happen. Also, I will note that the ticket counter agent took my ID with no problem.