Let passengers carry knives, lighters, and liquids on board flights. In fact, eliminate all banned items, and get rid of baggage fees while you're at it. So argues former TSA chief Kip Hawley, who writes in the Wall Street Journal that "the TSA's mission is to prevent a catastrophic attack on the transportation system, not to ensure that every single passenger can avoid harm while traveling." He's no PR dummy either, noting that "if you're a frequent traveler, you probably hate us."
Hawley's plan for the TSA, "if politicians gave the TSA some political cover":
- No banned items. OK, "guns, toxins and explosive devices" are out. But the banned-item list has turned TSA officers into "kindergarten teachers to millions of passengers a day." It also gives terrorists "a complete list of what not to use in their next attack."
- Ditch baggage fees. Much checkpoint agony is due to passengers "overstuffing their carry-on luggage to avoid baggage fees." Yes, airlines might boost prices a little if baggage fees are banned, but "everybody will be faster and safer."
- Make security random. Subject passengers to completely random pat-downs and bag checks, so terrorists can't learn how to evade security protocols.
For more from Hawley—including how we can fly with liquids—click here.
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