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back to article US bars ID refuseniks from planes - but not ID losers

The US Transportation Security Administration is to deny passengers who refuse to present identification access to airplanes - but will still permit entry to those who say their ID has been lost or misplaced. The change represents a stark policy reversal and goes into effect on June 21. Until now, US citizens who objected to ID …

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Dead Vulture

Unbelievable...

No more to say to that. Like the icon, it's just *sick*. Similarly sickening is the fact that this will likely come to naught against a domestic terrorist with no record and a valid ID, anyway.

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Pirate

Phuck...

...the phucking phuckers.

Given my history of emails to the shitehouse I would never be allowed in to their model-of-democratic-processes-country anyway.

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Coat

'Land of the free'

'Double-speak' is, I think, the appropriate description.

Mine's the one covered in arrows, with 666-3457-4829 printed on the back.

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ZM
Dead Vulture

Yeah

Yep, that figures. Was only a matter of time, anyway. Make it harder for honest folk to do their jobs while not really inconveniencing the people they're trying to target with this BS.

Any bets when RFID implants or machine readable barcodes will become mandatory?

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Joke

Hah, Stupid Terrists.

Everyone knows that those dark-skeeened non-merican terrists are too stupid to say they forgotted theys identifacashon. Theys aint even smrt enough to know thaff Jesus is teh one savior and Alah is a heethen.

What the fuck happened to my country? Proceed with the Yank flaming.

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Stop

Refuse to play their game: don't fly

We (wife & I) refuse to get anywhere within 5 miles of an airport. We won't participate in their insanity. Protests, letters, calls, etc. go unheeded. Our WA state congress-critters worship the cause of "security," so our only recourse with them is to give our vote to the opposition.

I'm thinking, perhaps, that if flying becomes too absurd, humiliating, unpleasant, costly, uncomfortable and otherwise pretty damned unbearable, then at some point the only ones willing to fly are government employees and corporate middle managers forced by threat of job loss.

When passenger numbers decline severely, maybe the airline industry will get the message and demand competence at the security gate. Either that, or passengers show up shoeless and naked in an open-back hospital gown and submit to a pre-boarding cavity search.

America's airlines: who in hell is gonna miss 'em? I was sick of stale peanuts years ago.

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Heart

Regional Dialects

I think the problem people outside the US have with security here stems from a misunderstanding. I've noticed everyone keeps banging on about some war on terrorism, and that what we're doing won't prevent terrorists from reaching our shores. To be quite frank we don't care about terrorists coming into this country at all - they'd be light entertainment compared to what we're already doing to ourselves.

I believe it all stems from a misconception that GW can't speak clearly and mispronounces most of what he says. Wrong.

Say the following words whilst affecting a GW accent. Tourism, Tourist.

Is it starting to make sense now?

It's a War on Tourism, and if I do say so myself, a very successful one at that. Tell me that the idea of coming to the US doesn't fill the most hardened Tourist with dread and loathing.

In fact not a day goes by when I see on these very forums comments by users saying that if we carry on with our current policy of fingerprinting, data snatching and so on they'll simply choose not to come here.

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Madhouse

Never, ever did I think that I'd see the complete destruction of personal freedom that I see in America. It's moved from being laughable through nutty and bizarre to downright scary.

Who in their right mind would want to visit a place with such paranoia and corruption anyway?

I used to love the US and its people; now I just feel really, really sorry for them.

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Guilt by association

Pretty obvious: You fly, you MUST be guilty.

As was said: "Security Theatre". I recently (last 2 weeks) flew. I had a small (about 2 inch) pocket knife with me the WHOLE time. The TSA people were more concered with my having too many "carry ons" than real security. They shine UV lights at my ID to see magic stuff. Maybe I should have an overstamp that says in UV "F*** Y**" and see what happens.

The same thing happens with tomatoes. One bad, they all must be bad. Guilt by association! It never stops. Back to driving my gas guzzling SUV!

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Bronze badge

Can't pay me enough...

Wouldn't be able to pay me enough these days to travel to the USA. I wonder how long it takes for airlines to create special "avoid the USA" routes, since the Americans have somehow managed to get the airlines to implement their stupid security theatre even if you're just flying through their airspace, yet not planning to land anywhere in their backwards country.

Well, that's not quite true. Everyone has their price. Just mine is extraordinarily high if anyone wants me to travel to/through/above the USA.

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More money for Canada and Mexico

Surely meeting yanks for a meeting should be done in Canadia. Refusing to enter the US is a pretty reasonable thing to do these days. Unless the Canuks have rolled over.

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Anonymous Coward

It's amazing...

...how brits can sit on their high horses sniffing at the 'destruction of personal freedom' in america, while living in a country which is among the most crushing surveillance societies in the world.

The US is making many horrible mistakes, but at least we can go about our lives without our license plates tracked, cars photographed, selves videotaped everywhere we go, and all manner of other monumentally repressive "for your own good" measures which strike far more directly at the heart of freedom than our feeble efforts on this side of the pond.

Our government may be idiotic (for the moment) but at least they've stuck to screwing up flying. You guys are just doing it the other way around.

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@ David Wiernicki

I think the reason for Brits making these comments is because they (and we in Australia to some extent) have long seen America as being the only place where you could have real freedom. To the English, America has always been a land of exodus, a place where one can hope to go since England has always been a repressive and feudal society, regardless of the propaganda constantly spewed out by the ruling class (you know, "England prevails", "Britons never ever shall be slaves" and the rest of that tosh). Now even that's being taken away from them; America is no longer a place where one can go to be free.

Witness the number of people on here saying they want to move to Canada, Mexico, New Zealand etc. People everywhere are painfully aware of the erosion of our civili liberties in EVERY western country, and they are desperately seeking just one land where the government still has some semblance of sense and real freedom. But this is the New World Order the conspiracy nuts have been raving about for years; they were all dismissed as paranoid tinfoil-hat nutjobs, and now the pigeons are coming home to roost. There is nowhere left to go, nowhere to run and hide. Even in Australia our government is eroding freedom faster than a sandcastle in a tidepool, but at least we have the wide outback if you want to exchange technological sophistication for a subsistence lifestyle to go with your freedom.

Yet even that door will soon be closed. Already you need a permit to enter vast areas of the outback, and soon we will need permits just to leave the cities. I give that one 5-10 years, tops. It will be brought in on the "Protecting the Environment" excuse*. And what can be done about it? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just enjoy what you have left while you have it, because when it's gone, your memories of a time when thought was free will be all you have left.

*There are the Big Four bullshit excuses on one or more of which every one of these freedom-destroying laws are brought in. They are:

1) The War on Terror

2) The War on Drugs

3) Protecting the Children

4) Protecting the Environment

All of which boil down to just one real reason:

Removing Freedom.

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@David Wiernicki

Sir, there are more than two countries in the world, and www.theregister.co.uk is available to read in those other ones also.

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Nurr nurr nee nurr nurr

Your big brother is bigger than my big brother, nurr nurr nee nurr nurr........

In defense of Fascism-UK, it's one saving grace is its ludicrous, comic incompetence which provides some humorous relief from time to time.

From what I have seen from afar, the US version appears to veer more towards heavily-armed, trigger-happy, razor-blades-under-the-fingernails incompetence of a much chillier cast.

Someone once told me that the difference between the Brits and the Yanks is that for the Yanks life is serious but not hopeless, whereas for the Brits it is hopeless but not serious.

Anyway, tis all villainously vile. The truth is there is something terribly wrong with both these countries, isn't there ?

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@David Wiernicki

Many, perhaps most, of those bitching would seem to be American.

Anyway...

The whole purpose is not to prevent people from flying, or even keep the skies safe. It is to feed the customers with the warm fuzzy that they are being looked after, while also giving the TSA some extra tools to smack down complainers.

Anyone halfway analytical would realise that:

* TSA fails a huge % of pat-down audits.

* Any real terrorist will have pretty good ID; either an excellent fake or legit driver's license etc. and won't refuse to show it.

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You've got it all wrong

Its all about money - pouring money not yet paid in taxes into the coffers of the mates of whoever is in power.

Hopeless Security will continue to create these bullshit rules to justify their cost. They have not hope of catching anyone/anything. They have to justify their excessive budget somehow.

Just don't go to America - or fly anywhere for that matter- and ensure you wear a hoodie

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@Steve Roper

Erm, no. Well, speak for yourself. You sound like the narrator at the start of some sappy Orlando Bloom mediaeval flick. "In a land that time forgot.."

As for the actual story, what exactly is the big deal? If people are really so pissed off about having to present ID then in my book their blood pressure is too high and they're the type of people who are going to complain willy-nilly about whatever they bloody well can, rather than just getting on with life. Granted, I'm perhaps a couple years younger than some folk here so I've grown up not really knowing much else (I can't remember ever getting on a plane and not having to show ID), but folks, listen to Bob - the times, they are a'changin.

The only ridiculous things about this new policy, in my mind, is the "oops I forgot it" way of getting out of it and the fact that it'll actually achieve the square root of bugger all in reducing the threat of terrorism. (Terrorists with valid IDs... who'da thunk it?)

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Stop

Already avoid the US

Which is a shame, cos I have had some great times there. But after the last time, when I got grilled by the surliest officer ever (and this was just before fingerprinting was introduced) I decided that I would go only if I had too (avoiding any flights which transited too).

Which all went swimmingly until recently - when I got to Sydney where I was swabbed for explosives and questioned - considering I had already been on a plane for 20+ hours at that point and was transiting it seemed a bit late.

Now I look at the trains first - thank god for the Eurostar.

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Silver badge

@yeah, right.

"avoid the USA" routes - the Kiwis have already done this. AirNZ now operate two direct flights a day from Heathrow-Auckland. The old one continues to go via Los Angeles where you have to fill out your immigration card including "location of first night's stay in US", get off and go through customs. The new one goes via Honkers (and is two hours quicker outbound).

Your choice!

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Stop

The blindingly obvious problem with this

Is that by default, suicide bombers never have any previous.

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Joke

You are all worng.

GWB is in fact a closet Green. Obviously he can't come out and say this out right, his election was paid for by the Oil companies after all. However he is managing to make air travel so odious that no one in their right mind will fly. This will have the knock on affect of reducing airplane emissions, saving us from global warming.

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Paris Hilton

Funny...

Someone poke me hard enough so i can stop laughing my arse off at just how pathetic the United States are...

Couldn't pay me to go there, and my observations and interactions with average americans whilst traveling give me further grounds for my stance (I know there are some good ones too, but benefits vs negatives...just not worth it!).

And yes UK is a Survellience/Orwellian state, but at least they don't force you to have a virtual aenima every time you want to enter or leave the country!

Paris, cause she'd give it up for the boys too! :D :D

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Coat

@David Wiernicki

Absolutely right.

"Where's your passport?"

"I left it at home."

"I can't let you pass without you showing me your passport."

"Why do I need a passport? I haven't left the country."

"I need to see your passport before you can pass."

This is not the US; this is the UK. And not even an airport.

Mine's the one with the one-way ticket out, hopefully before the razor wire and landmines come in.

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Black Helicopters

Half -arsed!

Dumb.

Laughable.

But still more 'freedom' than here in UK, where No I.D. = No Fly, end of story.

BTW, David Wiernicki.

If you still really believe that " at least we can go about our lives without our license plates tracked, cars photographed, selves videotaped everywhere we go, and all manner of other monumentally repressive "for your own good" measures " then you ARE in that misguided mass of Mericans who haven't woken up to reality yet. Go do some research into just exactly what your Gov. Agencies CAN REALLY DO to keep tabs on 'subversives', like the people who post comments on forums like this!

Oh yeh!

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Anonymous Coward

@David Wiernicki

"brits ... living in a country which is among the most crushing surveillance societies in the world"

I keep reading similar things in the news but the articles never seem to include any evidence of it.

The argument seems to be, "oh look, there's a lot of CCTV cameras, therefore we must be in a surveillance society".

On the rare occasion when the police are asked for their opinion, they usually complain that it can take months to get tapes from cameras, most tapes are recycled within days, a huge amount of the camera are technically illegal and that the image quality is usually too poor to identify anyone/thing in it.

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Flame

UK has one real saving grace

Our Government is far too incompetent to actually do or use the stuff they plan

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Gold badge

Perspective.

You have to remember here that the US was one of the very few (if not the only) place in the world you could ever get onto a bloody aeroplane without showing ID.

I remember many moons ago, back in the days when we used to wait for beligerant fascist loons to invade some island or other that we owned before we kicked the crap out of them. I was surprised at being asked for my passport when checking in for a shuttle flight from London to Edinburgh. It was explained that photo ID was mandatory and, back then, the passport was the only thing a Brit was likely to have with a photo on it.

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Anonymous Coward

@David Wiernicki

Let me guess, I have to set up and live in a country that protects all personal freedoms before I can legitimately comment on the loss of personal freedom in the US. You seem to have this comedy notion that anyone in the UK commenting about this doesn't also comment and protest against the various amounts of bullshit brought in by the UK government.

While I agree that people in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks, it's somewhat funny to see someone in Bush's America (the same one that stops protesters from getting anywhere near official routes when the President is visiting anywhere, the same one that repeatedly sees people being abused by their police, the same one where "voting irregularities" in a state governed by a sibling of the ultimately-victorious candidate in an election were not investigated) saying "Yeah, but you guys are worse off".

Let's face it. Britain, the US, Spain, Ireland, probably most of Western Europe if not the western world completely. We're all kind of fucked with current governmental trends. Sitting there pointing out who's more fucked, or choosing to ignore it by saying that one side or the other is "still more or less free, ish, unless you happen to be of terrorist descent or favour radical clothing like, oh, I don't know, neckerchiefs" is a bit frigging stupid.

This is the situation. We can acknowledge the situation, ignore the situation or do something about the situation. Engaging in verbal wankery about whether this actually *is* the situation doesn't really do much at all.

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"I wonder how long it takes for airlines to create special "avoid the USA" routes"

My company already has a policy that they will not book a flight that requires a refuel or stopover in the USA. The did it for several reasons, including:

1. Standing in queues for 4 hours whilst the one Immigration official takes everyone's fingerprints, just so you can get straight back on the refueled aircraft. Just plain annoying.

2. The risk that the person traveling to another country will be bounced back to the UK becauce the Immigration official does not like the answers you give. We work in a specialised and very security sensitive area, and answering the Immigration Official query of what your company does with a "Um - can't tell you" is asking for trouble.

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Thumb Up

Sheer class

David + Steve FTW.

More about England from people who've never been here, please.

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Re: The blindingly obvious problem with this

Unless they're not very good.

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@Matt Thornton

Please. If we can't be annoyed at the imposition because it causes no problem, why do they get so pissy when we say "no", since the "proof" solves no problem?

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Let 'em keep their silly rules

I was already offended by the airlines policies years ago, and decided that it was not worth the hassle or the expense to fly. It has only gotten more expensive, more of a hassle since then. These days we now have to deal with stripped-down services, poor customer service, abuse of flyers and basic rights being stripped by both the airlines and the government.

Give me my car and the open road.

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@Chris

"What the fuck happened to my country? Proceed with the Yank flaming."

Tempting, but I'll hold on that. The legality of an action might depend on the perpetrators state of mind at the moment of the act, but it cannot depend on their pre-meditated political stance. Your constitution grants rights to freedom of expression and thought, so if they want to bar the refuseniks, they really have to bar the forgetfuls as well.

As a wider observation, both the UK and the US seem to be conducting experiments in the balance of power between judges who have to avoid making political decisions and politicians who have to avoid making illegal ones. Fortunately, both are populated by people who have enjoyed freedom for far too long to give it up to a bunch of twats who couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery, so actually I'm rather optimistic for the future and won't be emigrating. (Could we have an "I won't get my coat." icon for that?) Oh sorry, you don't care about my travel plans. Ho hum.

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Joke

This is OBVIOUSLY a health-care prep initiative. . .

. . . NEXT year, TSA announces the mandatory colonoscopy as part of the boarding procedure.

Improving Health AND Security: Your TSA

(sarcasm intended)

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Black Helicopters

@ UK has one real saving grace

You are falling into the same trap as Mr. Wiernicki.

The incompetence of the current (or future) 'Government' is irrelevant.

It's the Civil Servants we should be worried about. They're the ones really running the country / countries.

They're the ones you don't see, pushing all the 'little bits of paper' around that actually get things done / enacted. They're the ones who dot the i's and cross the t's and can change the meaning of something with a well placed comma or apostrophe.

They're the ones that come up with absurdities like this, so that it looks like a half-arsed cock up, so that when some 'bright spark' of a politician or journalist starts braying about how stupid this is, when the 'desicion' is made to go to the "No ID = No Fly" model, all the sheeple nod in agreement with a hearty "commen sense prevails, now we're safer" cheer!

Eroding your 'freedom', drip by drip by drip.

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j
Go

"I'll Take My Chances" Airways

I had an idea a while back for a new ultra low cost airline with no security. You sign a lengthy disclaimer, and at the time of departure just barrel up, chuck the baggage on the plane, and off you go. No waiting in line after line, no constantly having to take out and put away documents, no undressing and redressing, no hefty fees to BAA for security theatre or luggage handling/screening, no being cooped up in a departure lounge so you can be sold "tax free" products at 17.5.% higher prices

Let the market decide.

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Pirate

Lets all move to SeaLand

Well perhaps not "all"

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Anonymous Coward

@ David Wiernicki

What to do mean when you say your 'government may be idiotic (for the moment)' ???

It's always been a country run by bigger idiots who couldn't tell the difference between a Taliban terrorist and a Twinkie.

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Coat

Re: The blindingly obvious problem with this

Indeed, if someone is so incompetent, that they can't even blow themselves up, then they don't represent much of a danger to anyone else, and therefore should be allowed to travel, previous notwithstanding.

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Alert

Doing the terrorists work for them!

This to me just seems another knee jerk reaction to the terrorist threat. All the US administration is doing is playing into the terrorists hands. The whole idea behind terrorism is to get administrations to introduce draconian new regulations to make the life of that countrys citizens more difficult. Everytime a new daft idea is introduced in the name of fighting terrorism, the terrorist has won again!

The attitude these days in the UK saddens me, we had 30 odd years of the IRA blowing up and shotting people and we Brits did exactly what we did to everyone else who tried to terrorise us, we flipped the middle digit and carried on as normal. Now for some reason we are all panicking, treatting any middle eastern as a threat and thus we are doing the terrorists job for them. It seems that 30 odd years of experience has been forgotten over night.

I actually agree with photo- id on flights, not only for security, but also it has helped to expose quite a bit of identity theft aswell. It was far too easy to get on a plane in the US, security was lax so unfortunately a 9/11 was inevitable. However, the excesses of Homeland Insecurity has seen me now refuse to go to the US, even if its working again as a defence contractor. My last experience was enough to put me odff for life!

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Happy

w00t!

This would make for an excellent diversionary tactic. Send in your fulminating bearded sandaled robed red herring of choice, who refuses to show id and makes a big noise. Meanwhile, send your group of nice clean-cut terrorists, all washed behind the ears, clutching their shiny passports and frowning at all the fuss, just like everyone else. But with extra explodeyness!

A nice smiley, because it's completely fucking deranged.

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But errr....

I fly every week in Europe (and within the UK) - I always need to present my ID both when I check in and when I get on the plane.

No ID - no flight.

Did I miss something?

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Coat

A semi-sane change

Out of all the changes that I've seen/read about in the name of "Airport Security", this is one of the most sane. I say semi sane in the subject for 2 reasons, firstly its nuts to let people on who say they lost their ID (it should be no id = no fly, like the rest of the world) and secondly why the sodding hell wasn't this already in place?

Seriously come on, making passengers put their liquids in plastic bags and finger printing people who arnt even coming into your country makes FAR FAR more sense than doing something basic like checking for photo ID of your passengers?

Mines the one with the hot dog lining.

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Anonymous Coward

@Colin Mountford

You haven't missed anything, you just have to bear in mind that this is legislation brought in by people whose immigration policy is still based on the assumption that, were you to plan a trip to the US to commit a crime of some sort, you'd be *honest enough to admit to it ahead of time when filling in your travel paperwork*.

In terms of the rule itself, I've always been used to it and frankly am kind of surprised it took them this long to get around to it themselves. But as others have pointed out, this notion that it'll have any impact on "terrorists" whatsoever is rather sweetly naive; the implication clearly being that they believe their identity documentation is so good that it couldn't be faked, even with access to sophisticated equipment (or, more realistically, a couple of grand and the right connections).

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Coat

re: More money for Canada and Mexico

........st Pierre & Miquelon for me ..... , but I might need a schengen visa.

Mine's the one with the transformer on it.

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Anonymous Coward

No-ID was a great way to skip the line

In the US, the ID-checker always stands at the back of the queue, checking you as you get in line. If you didn't have ID, they'd walk you right up to the front of the queue for "in-depth screening" - if you can tolerate a pat-down and someone poking through your carryon, you're through screening dozens of times faster than you are if you actually stand in line.

Should be the same if you "forgot" your ID.

Anon 'cuz I don't want to end up on the no-fly list.

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Weeding out the pricks

It seems like this is simply a way to weed out the assholes who want to make a political statement at the airport. If they refuse to show ID it is obvious they are going to waste everyone's time so they are told to get out of line and go home so the rest of us are not delayed even further.

For those few who have lost or misplaced an ID there is the option of more thorough screening in order to fly.

People are certainly free to protest perceived injustices but there is a proper time and place.

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US bars ID refuseniks from planes - but not ID losers’

All this misses the point. Homeland Security was never meant to be effective. The whole thing is no more than "actionism", designed to show the American people and the rest of the world that the US government is merely SEEN to be doing something about GWB's "tourism". There are a lot of people at higher levels of the US govt & administration who damn' well that ID-ing & fingerprinting etc. of passengers at airports won't achieve anything. But it makes damn' good publicity and is good politically.

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