What is the reason we should pay for a
more pleasant experience on the plane?


In general, the airport isn’t a fun place to be. As travelers get ready to head back out and about
and the number of flights is getting closer to pre-pandemic levels and the cost of travel
increases, it can be even messier. It’s possible to make it somewhat less stressful and also a
little faster by paying for it. Even then, you may not succeed.

Of all the tasks that one is required to complete during travel and security checks, this is the
most stressful. It’s a tedious and stressful task. waiting can be very monotonous, and the idea
that there could be a glitch and the flight could be delayed is very irritating. Luckily! You can try
to speed up the process or jump into the first line, or change the line entirely. Unluckily! These
options will cost you.

It’s possible to choose that more expensive options are worth it particularly if you travel
frequently. (I am currently using TSA PreCheck which I’ll discuss in the future and really love it.)
However, the fact that you’re willing to pay for everything is a sign of a larger issue across the
entire economy. There are a myriad of ways for some people to pay in order to bypass the line
which divides customers in a humane way. The customer experience has gotten such that
letting people pay for it’s a feasible business model.

At the airport, passengers are separated into micro-groups of “haves” and not-haves based on
the amount they’re willing and able to spend, not just in the security line, but at the airport gate,
and also where they’re seated at the airport. Instead of letting certain people spend money to
gain a leg up would it not be better if the entire process was made more accessible to

Being a longer at the airport isn’t exactly the most unpleasant thing, however, the situation isn’t
perfect. According to a study of the nation’s largest airports dependent on the time of day and
days of the week, the wait for security can last for more than 30 minutes during peak times at
airports like Newark, Miami International, and Boston Logan. It’s not fun, in fact.

Security line stratification

There are numerous ways to pay for a way to skip the lines in the terminal. According to the
Washington Post explains, you can spend hundreds of dollars for concierge services that take
passengers through. But I’m going to focus on two of the more popular (and domestic)
alternatives: TSA PreCheck and Clear, both of which permit you to travel a bit quicker, but with
different methods.

TSA PreCheck which was launched in 2013 is a screening program that can be accelerated. It
is a separate line and is able to bypass the most irritating elements of the standard screening
process such as, for instance, you can wear your shoes and you don’t need to remove the
laptop from your purse. (Why you have to remove their shoes during the line for security is a
topic to be discussed in a future post.) It’s $85 to apply and once you’re accepted it’s valid for up
to five years. At $17 per year, that’s too bad.

Clear is a private business that verifies identity with biometrics. It’s not yet available everywhere
— it’s only available in around 40 airports, however, it’s expanding. The way it works is that
passengers visit a kiosk to be scanned for their eyes, fingers or faces checked when they arrive,
and after that, a clear “ambassador” escorts them to the first line of the TSA line. The cost is
$179 per year, so when compared with PreCheck it’s considerably more expensive.

Zach Griff, who covers the travel industry for The Points Guy, recommends taking advantage of
each Clear and PreCheck to get the fastest experience at the airport. The author also admits
that it’s costly and costs around $200 per year. For those who aren’t able or don’t want to the
price, it’s not fair. “There’s no question that Clear kind of stratifies the security line based on
means and how often you’re traveling,” the official said.

Delta as well as United Airlines have invested in Clear and it’s a method to offer certain
customers a more enjoyable experience. American Airlines, thus far, has not partnered with
Clear. “They’ve repeatedly said that they’d rather invest in services and technologies that are
easily accessible to more people,” Griff stated.

Both options are nice for those who need the need, but they’re just a band-aid for a larger issue
that is lengthy security lines, and an under-funded and under-staffed TSA. Clear was the first version. Clear was a disaster and eventually went into bankruptcy due to the fact that TSA could
reduce the wait time for lines as explained by Michael Restovich, senior adviser at the global
security firm Command Consulting Group and former deputy administrator for security at TSA.

Clear also splits passengers in a way that could feel uncomfortable. If you’re not yet a
subscriber to the service but you’ve been to an airport in which Clear is operational and you’ve
noticed members waiting through your security lines. Maybe an official from Clear has
approached you. The clear ambassador has walked up to you, while you’re waiting in the
normal line in an attempt to find out whether your current state of frustration can be used as a
reason to buy. Perhaps you believe that everyone could get through the line more quickly in the
TSA PreCheck and regular PreCheck lines were equally spread out, or that everyone who uses
TSA PreCheck, and not, is perfectly content with their belts. It’s not a big deal but it is a hassle.

It’s not always a good thing for the people who pay.

Since Clear isn’t accessible all the time, travelers may find themselves waiting in an
encirclement. “There might be two or three people that are waiting to put their bag on the belt to
go through, you don’t necessarily go in front of them,” explained Ken Lisaius, vice president of
communications and public affairs at Clear. He also pointed out that Clear provides the
complimentary service to book a time for security lines at certain airports.

The more people who use PreCheck services, the less useful it is as lines are just longer than
regular ones. Furthermore, even if prepaying for it doesn’t mean that you’ll always receive it.
Sometimes, you’ll be placed in the regular queue to ensure security because TSA does not want
passengers to undergo an expedited screening each time. Also, those who are registered with
TSA PreCheck aren’t always guaranteed what they’re signing to receive.

“It’s a shame that they charge $85,” Restovich stated. “I think that the people who apply online
would apply online, the fee should be free. This should only be the case in the event that you’re

“A lot of passengers, I think, get confused thinking that if you’re buying through the problem
you’re always going to be TSA PreCheck, and that’s not true,” said Maxel Shabby Izquierdo. He
is vice president of TSA Council 100 which is comprised of TSA officers. “We like the actual
algorithm of unpredictability.” In another way, one of the aspects of the security approach of TSA
is that travelers don’t know what security measures they’ll or won’t have to take when they’re on
the plane.

In reality, people frequently find things both big as well as small to be angry regarding at an
airport. “Something’s always going to tick them off,” Izquierdo stated. He also pointed out that
there’s a reason why people are advised to get to the airport earlier. “There might be lines. Lines
are inevitable.”

The debate about the reasons why someone might need a TSA Prior Check or Clear an
ambiguous one isn’t always a matter of dealing with speed. Praveen a 26-year-old law school
student whose name has been kept secret to protect his privacy claims that PreCheck has allowed him to avoid the possibility of being targeted for racial discrimination. “I was raised in a
post-9/11 environment and I have always attempted to minimize my presence at airports. I’ll do
my best to do this without the most amount of difficulty,” he said. TSA Precheck “just expedited
the process and gave less time for an issue to occur.” He said that prior to making the payment
for PreCheck in the year 2019 the airport was stopped nearly every time he visited the airport.

You are able to pay to the top of the line as the line suckers

Price discrimination, which is when companies charge different prices for similar products or
services, isn’t something new. It’s not just limited to travel although flying can be very naive and
difficult to understand.

Companies charge more frequently to provide the same services quicker. Ride-hail providers
offer you the possibility of being faster pickup by paying an extra amount. Online retailers can
deliver your items faster, at an additional cost. Sometimes, this pay-to-accelerate service isn’t a
problem such as at the skiing resort or at a supermarket. Sometimes it’s a racial and obnoxious
practice for rich customers, such as getting faster access to vaccines for Covid-19 or being put
at the top of the telephone line when they try to contact authorities like the IRS.

Time is a precious commodity, but the economy is so skewed and the customer experience has
degraded those who are able to afford to pay for it. A study from 2021 showed the following:
over half of customers are willing to pay for quicker delivery. In the latest research by PwC
consumers say they would pay up to 16 percent extra for faster service. In dealing with
businesses as well as in dealing with governments having lower funds — or being less likely to
spend their results in a time-sucking. People who pay for a faster line or receive the fastest
service, do so, and all others are forced to compete with what appears as a diminishing amount
of resources.

The consumer isn’t actually the victim in this case. It’s normal — provided you’re able -to wish to
spend money to get up the line if you are able to. Businesses have also become adept at
stealing the money of people to purchase something a little more expensive, or even identical,
but much faster. In airports, the entire process is on display.

“The airways have performed an excellent job at generating revenues from convenience stores.
This is their model of business regardless of whether and/or not.” Griff said.
It would be nice to have more equality and people weren’t enticed to invest in speed? Yes. The
majority of us are in the security line, gazing at those Clear people and wondering if the annual
cost of $179 per retina exam will be worth it in the end.