Wednesday, September 7, 2011

“Trusted Traveler”

With the busiest time of the year for the airports soon approaching, travelers are demanding stress-free travel and the airline industry is loosening up on security procedures. A survey conducted by Consensus Research reports that American travelers would fly two to three more times per year on average, if the hardship of airport security were eliminated. These flights would add nearly $85 billion in consumer spending and nearly 900,000 jobs to the industry.

So what might this new program consist of? Well, The U.S. Travel Association has proposed a voluntary, government-operated program called “Trusted Traveler”. Program participants will be identified by entering a kiosk that scans their finger or iris (eye) to confirm their identity, and then pass through an explosive – detection device with their luggage.

Seems easy enough, but what’s the catch? Well, first, to apply for admission into the “Trusted Traveler” program, passengers must provide biometric information for screening, such as fingerprint, and iris recognition. Then, participants must submit to a criminal background check. Afterwards, a required interview with government officials is scheduled, and qualification into the program is then determined. Once enrolled, participants will receive an identity card, which they present at airport security checkpoints. This might seem like a lengthy procedure, but according to Consensus Research, surveys suggest that many passengers would rather have more government intrusion in exchange of traditional strict checkpoints.

Regardless of the “Trusted Traveler” program, one thing is made clear. Americans are pushing for changes in security measures, and airlines are open to the idea of relaxing on their current abrasive procedures. Voices are definitely being heard, and it will be exciting to see how loosened security procedures will significantly strengthen the airline industry.

For more information and the full U.S. Travel report, visit

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