I hate going to the airport. If air travel weren’t so much faster than driving, I’d probably drive everywhere (I’m not a huge fan of driving either). That’s why I was intrigued to read about a resurgence in trusted traveler type programs. It’s too bad they’re just in the early stages because I’d be the first to sign up for any program that would make my trip through security that much easier.
The core idea is that treating everyone like a terrorist makes no sense, especially with all the data and technology that we have. Why not let some people enroll in a program that gives them priority screening? While you have to make sure to avoid fraud and deception, I personally think that paying an extra $100 is going to be worth it for people who travel enough. Even if you don’t pay the fee, the “regular” line will be shorter because you screen fewer people (assuming you keep the same number of lanes).
That being said, an alternative I would love to see is a more intricate network of high speed trains. One of the best things about traveling throughout Europe was the ubiquitous nature of trains. You could go anywhere armed with a train ticket and a case of beer (another reason train travel is so much more fun!). So, absent a renewal in mass rail transit, I’d love to see a little prescreening occur outside of the terminal.