Your next trip to the airport may be more hassle free… but is it compromising your security?

Have you been to an airport recently? If so, were you able to bypass the hassle of the TSA screening by whizzing through the PreCheck line?

TheBlaze Radio Network’s Doc Thompson and Skip LaCombe were filling in for Glenn again this morning, and they shared an interesting travel story. In the course of the last month, Doc and Skip have traveled three times – twice to Dallas, Texas and once to Nashville, Tennessee – from Dayton, Ohio. During all three trips, either Doc, Skip, or both were randomly selected to head to the PreCheck lane even though they did not pay the fee or have the background check required to obtain PreCheck status.

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So what’s the deal?

Post 9/11, we have been indoctrinated to believe that taking off our shoes, belt, and jacket, removing our laptops and liquids from carryon bags, and getting an invasive pat down or body scan was the only way to keep this country safe.

We have also come to understand that such a process leads to massive lines and delays. And now it seems as though the TSA is looking to circumvent that problem by randomly assigning some travelers to the PreCheck lane.

In May, Bloomberg Businessweek corroborated the report:

When you want to get through airport security faster, the screeners have an app for that. To clear waiting lines more quickly, the Transportation Security Administration uses a “randomizer” app at about 100 U.S. airports to sort which travelers get directed into the PreCheck lane, the one where you don’t need to doff your shoes, belt and jacket.

The app is part of a risk-based approach called “managed inclusion” that the TSA began using last year and includes behavior-detection officers or canines on duty to smell for traces of explosives…

The TSA uses software to randomly choose whether travelers in the PreCheck lanes go left or right, making it harder for potential terrorists to detect any patterns. The randomization also helps to prevent accusations of racial or other profiling. The program is used at peak travel times when queues increase, such as early morning and evening.

While getting to keep your shoes on and quicker wait times at the airport is certainly welcomed news for travelers, what does it really mean? If the TSA can now confidently say randomizing the security process will continue to keep people safe, why has this not been the policy from the beginning?

“It is the inconsistency that makes no sense,” Skip said.

“I think we are seeing some sort of shift. I don’t know why yet, but in the next couple of months, I think it will be unveiled. I don’t know if they are trying to get rid of the Rapiscans, if they are trying to speed it up,” Doc concluded. “But if they start changing the policies and procedures, all of the crap that we have gone through and put up for the last five, eight, 10 years is just that. It’s BS. They sold us a bunch of BS, and we all bought it.”

Front page image courtesy of the AP