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Posted: 2:56 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Earn $5,000 For Your Ideas To Improve TSA Service

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By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


The TSA wants to give you up to $5,000 for your ideas to improve and speed up security check-in at our nation's airports.

The TSA wants you...

First off, the TSA deserves some credit -- despite whatever bad experience you may have had with them recently. But you've got to realize they do a tough job. People see them as being hostile to their fellow Americans. But the TSA has done a lot in the last 2 years to improve what they're doing.

One improvement they've made is with TSA Pre-Check. This system allows people to submit to background checks and then go through an expedited boarding process. (There's also a similar service called Global Entry from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.)

But TSA security is still terribly inefficient compared to many other countries, and I know because I travel all around the world. In fact, I just went through security in Frankfurt when the airport was on high alert based on actionable intelligence about a new terrorist threat.

When we were passing through, we first went through a good initial screening. Then we were pulled to the side for a very thorough secondary check that was done with a dignity and thoroughness that made me feel good about what they doing to ensure flyer safety.

In the U.S., by contrast, we have security theater. I'm talking about stuff we've seen like the deal with the 3 oz. bottle rule, taking your shoes off and putting them on the conveyor belt, taking your laptop out, etc.

 



Fortunately, the TSA wants to improve and they want your input. They have a contest offering cash rewards to people who submit their best ideas to improve security screening and speed up the lines. The deadline to submit is August 15. There are prizes of $5,000 and $2,500.

Here's my free suggestion for the TSA: When I travel internationally, there are these robotic channels that you put your items into at the beginning of the line and the baskets automatically return to the front of the line after your contents are emptied out. It is a big time saver. Because the TSA is wasting big bucks and manpower hours by piling up those tubs and having to manually roll them back to the beginning of the line.

And here's another suggestion: The other thing they do overseas is when you load your things onto the conveyor belt, it is at a level where you don't have to lift your heavy items too high. It's a very simple idea, respectful of the customer, and it really speeds things up.

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