Along with the rising cost of bag fees, the most notorious nuisance air travelers must endure before reaching the terminal is the security checkpoint line. Travelers must frantically search and strip themselves and their baggage of anything that is made of metal or contains a certain amount of liquid. Depending on the airport you are at, after removing your shoes, belts, watches, and cell phones, travelers then walk into a full body scanner, which creates a semi-nude X-ray photo meant to detect any dangerous weapons within the travelers clothes. Whether these machines are effective or not is another issue entirely. (Earlier this year, CEI filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit questioning the legality of the government’s deployment of these scanners.)
Of course, if you planned out your trip to the airport ahead of time, hopefully you can put your belt on and tie your shoes quickly enough to make it to your flight.
So why do air travelers put up with this security routine? According to Gallup, while many Americans question the effectiveness of these screening methods, 54 percent of Americans say that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the government agency within the Department of Homeland Security that oversees airport security, is doing a good job at keeping air travelers safe.