Via the Heels First blog, the Volokh Conspiracy has posted about how elite lines at airport security are a misuse of government resources favoring “people with great resources.” Since I am generally able to use these lines 🙂 I’m obviously biased to disagree with this view. However, there are some valid reasons for these lines to exist.
First off, these lines have been around for a while, as Gary at View From the Wing points out in his rebuttal, and additionally Jeanne at Heels First points out that the SFO security is actually run by a private company. I recommend reading over Heels First and View from the Wing rebuttals, but TSA security lines are not as much a resource provided to the tax payer as much as an extension of air travel and airline service. This the policies for the security queue are set by airports and airlines as they see fit, and TSA does there thing with people who arrive out of the queue (showing my time in Ireland), whether it be groping them or potentially causing cancer. As Jeanne points out, the TSA itself concedes this point.
There’s also some other points made by the bloggers, such as the fact the elite lines would tend to move faster because the people in it are more used to traveling, and also this whole debate isn’t as much about rich vs. poor but frequent (generally business) travelers vs infrequent (generally leisure) travelers.
Well whatever, I’m just going to continue enjoying the shorter elite lines at airports 🙂