Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Blogs Against Kleptocracy - TSA’s Gift To The Airlines

As if all kinds of new charges on checked luggage weren't enough to make you want to stop flying, we now find that TSA is in the business of putting a little extra money in the pockets of the airlines.

Any recent changes in the way you use or spell your name? Did you start using your middle name? What's on your passport? And what about that ticket you just booked...didn't use your nickname by any chance, did you? Well, if you did, beware. TSA has a thing they call the "exact match rule" that allows airlines to deny you boarding if the name you book under doesn't exactly match official documents like your passport or your US government approved identification (i.e., your driver's license in this new era of Real ID.)

And just what do you do if the airline says "no"? Well that's when this situation gets really egregious. TSA allows the airline to just let the whole thing slide for a $100.00 fee. In other words, the supposed reason for denying you boarding—the potential security risk of the inexact name match—becomes irrelevant if you agree to grease the airline's palm. But what if you refuse? Well then...there's extortion, officially sanctioned by TSA. "What do you mean you don't want to pay us $100.00? OK, rebook your damn ticket, chump!"

Another fine example of the Corporate Kleptocracy in action: Anything to help the corporations turn a profit at the expense of consumers.

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