The TSA Is Finally Admitting They’re Useless With Their Latest Proposal

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You’ve probably boarded a plane and realized you brought a TSA non-compliant item along for the ride, either on your person or in your carry-on.  A pocket knife, a large bottle of liquid, a Galaxy Note 7.

At first, you’re relieved you weren’t tackled to the ground with a knee on your windpipe, the piercing snap of a latex glove as your last memory before losing consciousness.  Then, a couple minutes later, you realize the implications.  If the TSA missed your effortless violation, what else do they miss?

What Else Slips Through the TSA’s Fingers?

I’m of the opinion that the TSA does VERY little to secure the skies.  And the latest proposal the TSA is considering proves that theory.

TSA May Stop Securing Smaller Airports

You’ve probably heard the term “security theater.”  Its definition is “the practice of investing in countermeasures intended to provide the feeling of improved security while doing little or nothing to achieve it.”

That’s exactly the TSA.  They are there to make travelers feel like there’s an iron wall between scoundrel and airplane.  But they do practically zero.

Remember the 2015 statistic revealing the TSA fails to detect potential dangers 95% of the time?  A study less than 1 year ago suggests that the rate is still above 80%.  So statistically, if the TSA is the last line of defense, 4 out of 5 attacks will be wildly successful.

If the TSA is responsible for curtailing the number of attacks, it’s because terrorists are busy rolling on the ground laughing at them.

According to CNN, the TSA is seriously considering completely pulling out of 150 small to medium-sized airports across the US.  The TSA would no longer screen passengers at airports that are served by planes with 60 seats or less, and instead screen them at their connecting airport.  This could save $115 million each year, which the government would allegedly use to make security better at larger airports, where human lives matter.

CNN says:

The proposal asserts that small aircraft would not be…as attractive a “payoff” because “the potential for loss of life” would be lower than terrorists could achieve with larger planes.

The TSA should alert the folks spreading terror with automobiles and handguns that the payoff isn’t attractive.

The TSA Is Fine With Not Screening Passengers, as Long as the Plane They Board Is No Larger Than This

If the TSA were actually effective in preventing terrorist attacks, this move would be unthinkable.  I suspect a 60-passenger plane can still do plenty of damage.

A few news sources state that the TSA likely will not pull out of any airports.  But the fact that the TSA is even considering it reveals that they do very little.

Do You Know How to Reduce the TSA Charade During Your Next Trip to the Airport?

The rules the TSA creates to protect you and me seem a little erratic.

Straight razors aren’t allowed in your carry-on, but ice skates are.  Flammable liquids aren’t allowed on board, but you can bring a cigarette lighter in your pocket.  You can’t bring 4 ounces of water, but you can pass through the security checkpoint with a big bag of ice.

Did you know you can bring skydiving equipment in your carry-on?  That is WAY more alarming than many other prohibited items, like gel sole inserts.

I’d Like to See What Would Happen to My Carry-On If I Stuck a Wick Inside a Bowling Ball.  Both Harmless Items, but a Little Unnerving to See Together

If you want to skip a lot of TSA rules, like removing toiletries or computers from your bag, taking off your jacket and shoes, etc., you can!

It’s called TSA PreCheck, and it costs $85 for a 5-year membership.  But there are plenty of ways to get it for free.  Several cards will reimburse the price of your TSA PreCheck application, including:

  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®

And lots more!  Just use one of these cards to pay for your TSA PreCheck application, and you’ll receive a statement credit for the expense.

There are a few other ways to get it for free, too!  You can check out this post for a complete guide to TSA PreCheck.

Thoughts on this latest TSA proposal to leave small and medium sized airports to fend for themselves?  Does the TSA actually serve a purpose?

Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals. He has also authored and edited for The Points Guy.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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