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TBT: The Real Reason Why You Need an ID to Get on A Flight

Goldhedge

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#1
TBT: The Real Reason Why You Need an ID to Get on A Flight


As the TSA again begins a periodic push to breathlessly warn passengers that their current state-issued identification may no longer be valid at the airport, a whole generation of air travelers is surprised to learn that the need to bring I.D. to the airport is a relatively recent development put in place in the interest of allowing airlines to control bookings rather than for aviation security.

A passenger born after 1980 may very well not remember a time when valid identification wasn’t routinely required for air travel. As a recent “Today I Learned” entry on a sub-Reddit dedicated to sharing obscure knowledge indicates, there is an entire generation of flyers stunned to learn that showing up for a flight didn’t always mean carrying identification that precisely matches the spelling of the name on one’s boarding pass.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is slowly gearing up for another round of (likely) empty threats, warning passengers that their current state-issued driver’s licenses may not pass muster at the airport beginning next year, but the Boarding Area’s Gary Leff recalls a time in the recent past when the idea of an airport worker asking for identification would be as unlikely as an ice cream shop attendant asking for travel documents. In fact, it appears that the entire concept had more to do with the carrier’s desire to control who buys and sells airline tickets rather than enhancing the security of air travel.

“An airline can’t very well sell cheap early and expensive close-in if customers could buy those same tickets cheaply in advance and then resell them to other customers at a profit — while still undercutting an airline’s price — close to to [sic] departure,” Leff writes. “As a result airlines have long wanted requirements for passengers to have to show ID in order to use airline tickets, in order to make airline tickets non-transferable. Frequent flyers used to travel under each others’ names all the time, to gain the benefits of status for each other and to help each other earn points. ID requirements limit the ability to do that, although they don’t make it impossible.”

The tragedy of TWA Flight 800 in 1996 was a golden opportunity for airlines to implement identification requirements when booking and at the ticket counter. A few years later, The Patriot Act, passed in response to the events of September 11, enshrined in law the policy of allowing only ticketed passengers with identification past airport security checkpoints.

Patriot Act legislation also set new standards for state governments issuing identification. Federal officials have repeatedly threatened that identification from states where the new rules have not been adopted will no longer be accepted at the airport. In each case, going back before 2015, states deemed not to be in compliance were repeatedly given last minute reprieves. The latest extension is set to expire next year.

States such as Montana have seized on the renewed threat of Homeland Security enforcement to bring in new revenue. Residents now have the opportunity to pay an extra fee to ensure that their driver’s license is “real ID” compliant and will be accepted at the airport.

Although some state-issued drivers licenses may soon be invalid at the airport security checkpoint, the TSA also says that it is only required to identify passengers – not ensure that passengers have proper identification. In the case of one resourceful flyer, a Costco membership card was all she needed to board her flight.
 

Alton

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#2
That's ok, my Indiana license is still non-approved for dhs purposes and I won't fly anyway because I refuse to be subjected to a feel-up simply because I want to travel from point A to point B.

Interesting fact: NO government personnel, elected, appointed or hired, are to be included on the No-Fry list.
 

engineear

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#3
If I identify as a government employee that is transgendering, am white but identify as middle eastern, am wearing heels and scarf, talk with a background voice and today go by "Lola"...do my chances increase to get on board with very little I'D? If so, can I get 1st class and sit and kibbutz with the girl attendants? Just for today...and the flight back, too?
 

mayhem

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#4
The article is pure bullshit. The gov passed the Real ID Act soon after 9-11. It gave the states until 2012 to comply. Lots of moaning and groaning got it extended until 2015. Then in 2015 they gave another extension (2020) and now time is running out.(These extensions are now named "Phases")

All the airlines are doing is enforcing the Act passed long ago, so long ago that people have forgotten about it. The rules for getting a Real Id drivers license or ID Card are pretty strict and a lot of folks will be really struggling to get all the paperwork needed to get that gold star on your DL.

It took my wife months to gather all the necessary doc.'s she needed. 49 states have complied so far, but it only comes up when your DL needs renewal. Pretty much everyone should be in compliance by now. The airlines are only doing what Congress said they needed to do, not because a few people are scalping tickets. All airlines will sell you the discounted price ticket if you have a valid reason for a quick unplanned trip. Delta did that for me when I got the call my mom was not expected to live another 24 hours. All I had to do was supply her Dr.s name and I was off on the first flight out.

Anyone fact checking this article would find out it was nothing but doom porn.
 

GOLDBRIX

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#5
. 49 states have complied so far, but it only comes up when your DL needs renewal.
I think it is fewer than that. I know Kentucky has not got the REAL ID activated yet. SNAFUs abound in this commonwealth.
I am pretty sure the Bluegrass is not alone.
 

Joe King

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Imagine a World where most people just said,... "F' it! I just ain't doing it." The BS would go away virtually overnight.

Jump through our hoops! Get your gold star today! Good boy!
 

Mujahideen

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I’ve used my TWIC card just to confuse them, to my surprise they knew what it was. But I was able to get the airport employee discount at the food court when accidentally I left it hanging from my neck.

“Hey I gave you the 10% discount since you work here”

Me: .........sure.
 

viking

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#9
"“An airline can’t very well sell cheap early and expensive close-in if customers could buy those same tickets cheaply in advance and then resell them to other customers at a profit — while still undercutting an airline’s price — close to to [sic] departure,” Leff writes."

Last minute fares are many times cheaper as airline want to fill up empty seats.
 

Joe King

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#10
Last minute fares are many times cheaper as airline want to fill up empty seats.


Can you give some examples of that? Last time I bought a last minute ticket, it cost me $1400 for what would have been, at most, a $300 ticket had I purchased it a few weeks earlier.
....and that was coach. F'ers wouldn't even give me an upgrade. Only break they would give was if it was for a death in the family, and would have required a death certificate. None of that applied to me, so full fare I paid. :(
 

TAEZZAR

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#11
Imagine a World where most people just said,... "F' it! I just ain't doing it." The BS would go away virtually overnight.

Jump through our hoops! Get your gold star today! Good boy!
I am one that says fuck'em. I haven't flown since the perverts at TSA started grabbing genitalia !!!
 

viking

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#12
Can you give some examples of that? Last time I bought a last minute ticket, it cost me $1400 for what would have been, at most, a $300 ticket had I purchased it a few weeks earlier.
....and that was coach. F'ers wouldn't even give me an upgrade. Only break they would give was if it was for a death in the family, and would have required a death certificate. None of that applied to me, so full fare I paid. :(
I see it all the time, plenty of seats the night prior, then over sold the day of flight. They dump the tickets to third party sellers the day before the flights.
 

hammerhead

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Can you give some examples of that? Last time I bought a last minute ticket, it cost me $1400 for what would have been, at most, a $300 ticket had I purchased it a few weeks earlier.
....and that was coach. F'ers wouldn't even give me an upgrade. Only break they would give was if it was for a death in the family, and would have required a death certificate. None of that applied to me, so full fare I paid. :(
Was scoping tickets on Spirit. Got them for under a hundred ($40 cheaper) day before flight was to leave.
 

mayhem

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#15
Last minute fares are many times cheaper as airline want to fill up empty seats.
Anyone here remember Peoples Express? They didn't sell tickets in advance. Everyone just got in line to board the plane, when full the Stews would come down the isle and collect your fare, cash or CC. Fla to CT where my parents lived was $99.00. I flew it once a B-727 and every seat was filled. Don't know what happened to them. The TSA probably killed that business plan though.
 

SilverBuyer

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Anyone here remember Peoples Express? They didn't sell tickets in advance. Everyone just got in line to board the plane, when full the Stews would come down the isle and collect your fare, cash or CC. Fla to CT where my parents lived was $99.00. I flew it once a B-727 and every seat was filled. Don't know what happened to them. The TSA probably killed that business plan though.
That sounds like my kinda airline. I'd take my chances to avoid the hellscape that going through airport security can be.
 

mayhem

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I am one that says fuck'em. I haven't flown since the perverts at TSA started grabbing genitalia !!!
The last time I flew was 2003, before they started grabbing my balls.
 

GOLDZILLA

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#18
Last time I went into an airport it looked like beirut.
 

Merlin

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#19
Imagine a World where most people just said,... "F' it! I just ain't doing it." The BS would go away virtually overnight.

Jump through our hoops! Get your gold star today! Good boy!
Well, that's exactly what I said when I renewed my driver's license last summer. So I don't have my gold star. So, when my passport expires in 2022, I guess I won't be flying.
 

SilverBuyer

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#20
The technology has improved since then. They can now see "everything" quite well.

A lot of travelers actually request the "pat down" - this is not because they're trying to get some stimulation, but because they know what the picture shows if they walk through the scanners.

They don't like to show you what's on the scanner's computer screen but if you ask I believe they're required to show it to you.
I used to ask for the patdown but like everything they try to close the "loopholes" in their system. The last couple times I did it it took 30-45 minutes and they acted like I was a security threat solely because of the pat down. (since I stopped requesting it I don't get any extra attention). Before that it wasn't too bad it was only like a 5 minute detour.

I don't care that much about the picture but who knows what sort of cancer shit they are shooting in your body to take the x-rays.

I'm having trouble maintaining much hope in humanity, people are just too damn willing to be treated like slaves/cattle.
 

viking

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#21
Anyone here remember Peoples Express? They didn't sell tickets in advance. Everyone just got in line to board the plane, when full the Stews would come down the isle and collect your fare, cash or CC. Fla to CT where my parents lived was $99.00. I flew it once a B-727 and every seat was filled. Don't know what happened to them. The TSA probably killed that business plan though.
People Express Airlines, stylized as PEOPLExpress, was an American low-cost airline that operated from 1981 to 1987, when it was merged into Continental Airlines.