The Transportation Security Administration today announced new regulations covering international flights to the United States. The additional security measures are in response to a Christmas Day incident, in which Abdul Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab, 23, the London-educated son of the former chairman of the First Bank of Nigeria, is alleged to have set off an incendiary device on board a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
The new rules require all passengers to travel in the cargo holds of aircraft, said TSA spokesman Gard Frandle. “Palletized loading and transport of air travelers will result in an unprecedented new level of in-flight safety,” said Frandle.
Under the plan, each tranquilized passenger will be sealed inside a climate controlled steel box for loading into the lower part of the airplane.
An advantage of the new rules for the airlines is that passenger cabins are now freed up for baggage. “We’re taking the limits off the amount of luggage allowed on flights, and providing a level of service and comfort heretofore unseen for luggage traveling first class,” said Bertie McFraundle of British Airways.
However, travelers will be limited to one banker’s offspring in their carry-ons.
Real ID is coming for you pork-chop! Despite years of delays, unfunded mandates on the states, and some states’ outright refusal to comply, the Feds intend to put the requirements of Real ID into force in May.
In the short term, this means that you won’t be able to access federal buildings or board airplanes if either 1) your state is not able, or does not intend, to comply with the standards that Real ID sets out for photo identification or 2) you don’t have a valid US Passport (which does comply). (Set aside, for a moment, that there is no published law that allows the airlines to require identification nor law that allows them to refuse to transport you if you fail to produce it. David Gilmore got caught up in the ‘unpublished law’ side of this issue, but that’s another story entirely.) TSA, on the other hand, can and does require identification for you to pass through its security checkpoints.
So…if you live in one of those states are you stuck? Probably not, but you’re almost certainly going to be in for the kind of scrutiny usually reserved for those unlucky individuals on one of TSA’s “extra security measures” lists.
But the real issue for DHS is: How to get all those recalcitrant states on board with the program? And at least one DHS official has come up with a novel idea: Require a Real ID before you can purchase over the counter medication. Got allergies? Need Claritin? “Then I’ll need to see your federally approved photo ID, please.” The howling from residents in those states will be heard from space.
I suppose that when simple persuasion won’t do, why not try coercion? Smacks of the tactics that Great Britain is using to trick their citizens into becoming part of their new “dossier database”.