Flying high

Time magazine is arguing the case that the special federal program that makes it possible for air travelers to skip security screening is used mostly by the rich and powerful, perhaps 1 percent of travelers. That would be travelers like U.S. Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, say, who participates in the “PreCheck” program (“Heller disputes charge,” RN&R, April 3, 2008).

“If frequent fliers, who are very often business professionals, are the main ones to participate in the TSA PreCheck program, then there’s a pretty high likelihood that the 1 percent are the ones afforded a less stressful screening process,” the magazine observed. “It also means that the rest of us—say, the 99 percent—are getting the same old checkpoint treatment.”

Time notes that business travelers have always gotten special treatment from airlines. But the Transportation Safety Administration, which handles security screening, is not an airline. It’s a federal agency.