If you thought flying already sucked due to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) security theater, get ready for things to become even worse as the various TSA security bypass packages lead to an ever increasing number of security lines:
But as the plan moves forward, we’re seeing all sorts of new wrinkles that most observers had never even thought about. More types of vetting means more types of passenger (Global Entry passengers, No Fly List passengers, risky-but-unvetted passengers), and sorting through all of those passengers is tricky. Even if you can match all of the faces to tickets, you still have to get all of them to the right security line at the airport — so the most recent development has to do with lines. This fall, Homeland Security released two new contract solicitations focused on making airport lines smarter and more complex. One focuses on measuring how long a line is, basically a thermometer for how well all of this is working. The second one calls for “intelligent traveler wayfinding” technologies to direct people through the ever-more complex lines that are clearly on the way.
In the near future you will have to find the line that corresponds to the amount of money you gave the TSA. TSA PreCheck? Line 2. PreCheck+? Line 14. PreCheckDeluxe? Line 27. You didn’t pay the TSA any money for preferential treatment? Get over to that long line in the corner and accept that your wait time will be several hours, pleb.