No More Airport Waiting For Troops

flickr image by Shortcircuit
President Obama has signed a new law that will allow U.S. military personnel to go to the front of the line at U.S. airports. The bill was sponsored by Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and had unanimous support from both parties.

Just about anyone who’s ever flown has had to wait in a long security line at the airport. And now with the TSA’s new enhanced screening procedures those wait times are often even longer. But Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison believes there are some people who shouldn’t have to wait in those lines.

"I think we can all agree that our military men and women make sacrifices for our nation every day. The least we can do is try to make their lives a little easier when they travel across the country they defend."

That was Senator Hutchison speaking on the Senate Floor before her bill was voted on. She calls it Trust Our Troops Act.

"I think they have earned the right to at least go to ahead of the line, or have some kind of trusted passenger status."

Hutchison tells the story of a sergeant carrying a radio as a courier between bases. TSA workers took the radio apart trying to find out if there were explosives in it.  She says it was stories like that that drove her to write the bill.

"Currently, TSA uses the same screening protocols for all passengers, but TSA has indicated that it would like to improve the process and move forward to risk-based screening procedures."

A risk-based screening procedure is what many people have been calling for for years after hearing stories of 90-year-old grandmothers and 2-year-old babies being given the same treatment as anyone else. Although the Trust Our Troops Act is now a law, the TSA isn’t saying exactly when military personnel will be able to begin heading to the front of security lines.