An open letter to our new US Homeland Security Chief, Janet Napolitano:
After using (Fly) Clear for the past three months, I know Clear is not the solution for frequent travelers. Clear does not provide much value aside from letting me skip the security line at a few airports. Clear also has many other issues (check out my previous post).
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) under the Department of Homeland Security must come up with a solution similar to what Dulles is offering to its frequent travelers: Dulles Diamond. Although I have not used the service but I believe in the concept. TSA need to implement a “Professional Travelers Access Program.”
The “Professional Travelers Access Program” needs to guarantee fast security screening by separating business/frequent travelers from casual travelers. In order to qualify for the ‘Professional Travelers Access Program,’ I believe you must pass the security screening exam. I do not think the Dulles Diamond line has a restriction.
Below are my proposed criteria for anyone to qualify for the “Professional Travelers Access Program:”
1. Demonstrate that you can remove your coat, belt and shoes, unpack your liquids, and take out your laptop for the metal screening device in less than 45 seconds.
2. Walk through the metal detector (with your boarding pass) without beeping or being re-screened.
3. Show the ability to quickly gather your belongings after you’ve passed security in less than 45 seconds.
4. Once you have passed the exam, you will get a special card to be screened at the Professional Travelers Access Program.
5. As a member of Professional Travelers Access Program, you must maintain your ability to quickly get through the security line or the agent will have the right to send you to the normal line with novice travelers.
Most business and frequent travelers can easily pass my proposed test. The frequent travelers are prepared and know what to do before they even get to the airport. It is time for the TSA to understand its customers. TSA must separate the novice travelers from the professionals to speed up the security process during peak travel times - Monday mornings and holidays. The “Professional Travelers Access Program”will streamline the security screening process and improve customer service.
I am offering my services free of charge to the TSA if they need further consultation. I cannot believe Dulles (which we believe is one of the worst airports in the US) already has a similar program implemented. I am curious to hear about the Dulles Diamond successes and failures. Please post your comments if you have used the Dulles Diamond service at Dulles. I also look forward to hearing from someone working at the TSA or the Department of Homeland Security.