Bypassing the Airport Identity Check
I don't worry about it now any more than I worried about it then:
In terms of security, this is no big deal; the photo-ID requirement doesn't provide much security. Identification of passengers doesn't increase security very much. All of the 9/11 terrorists presented photo-IDs, many in their real names. Others had legitimate driver's licenses in fake names that they bought from unscrupulous people working in motor vehicle offices.
The photo-ID requirement is presented as a security measure, but business is the real reason. Airlines didn't resist it, even though they resisted every other security measure of the past few decades, because it solved a business problem: the reselling of nonrefundable tickets. Such tickets used to be advertised regularly in newspaper classifieds. An ad might read: "Round trip, Boston to Chicago, 11/22-11/30, female, $50." Since the airlines didn't check IDs and could observe gender, any female could buy the ticket and fly the route. Now that won't work. Under the guise of helping prevent terrorism, the airlines solved a business problem of their own and passed the blame for the solution on to FAA security requirements.
But the system fails. I can fly on your ticket. You can fly on my ticket. We don't even have to be the same gender.
Posted on March 14, 2006 at 7:58 AM • 27 Comments