So the question becomes: is that a good or a bad thing?
Sure, it's fashionable, and even bi-partisan, to hate TSA Agents. They've been accused of everything from feeling up grandmothers to stealing Iphones to allowing weapons to float right by them and onto planes. Sometimes these complaints are fantasy, and sometimes they're dead on.
But as someone who's noticed that we haven't been hit with a major airplane attack since 9/11, I have to give a tip of the hat to these hardworking, woefully underpaid men and women: they're obviously doing something right. And we, the public, would only know when something major went wrong, which hasn't happened.
So it's was with slightly mixed feelings that I read that at Chicago's O'Hare Airport American Airlines and United Airlines have added automated lanes to the security area. They don't replace the human who stares at the screen, looking for contraband and weapons. But they will automatically re-stack the bins that travelers use and feed those bins into the machine (so no longer will customers have to push their bags along the rollers). The automated system also has cameras taking photos of the outside of the bags, which can then be matched with the X-ray of the interior of the bag. And each bin has a tracking device on it, so the system knows where it, and its contents, are throughout the process.
Some TSA Agents, one must assume, have lost their jobs this week in the Windy City.
For more information the new system, which could be coming to an airport near you soon, click here.