Head to the front of TSA’s security line

In US airports, fliers can pay to cut the security line. Why do some get preferential treatment from the TSA? Do they pay the airline for this or do they somehow pay TSA through more than just taxes?

At a growing number of airports, special agents will meet these celebrities, high-powered executives and wealthy vacationers at the curb and will privately escort them from check-in to security to boarding.

American Airlines built a private check-in lobby in Los Angeles for VIPs who are greeted by name, given preprinted boarding passes and then whisked by elevator to the front of the security line.

First, I wonder if it’s fair for richer folks to cut the line. Sure they pay more the first class ticket, but that’s for a big seat in the front of the plane. TSA is supposed to be there to provide security and you would think that their service should be applied equally to everyone. It’s not like a former Miss America should be immune to getting searched so why would someone special get to skip the wait?

Second, I wonder if the elite who get to skip the line are treated differently than the common fliers. If common sense tells you that they do receive special treatment, does that mean they are screened quicker / less thoroughly? Are they less likely to have their bags opened or to be strip searched or whatever is getting TSA in trouble at the moment?

Filed Under: Airlines + flying

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