We live in a country that was founded on the principle that everyone is created equal. No one gets special treatment. We are all treated the same, especially in Nebraska where we pride ourselves on being polite and thoughtful. To put it in the most basic of terms, no one cuts in line. Everyone waits for his or her turn. However, this is not always the case at airports, where some air travelers are able to cut to the front of the security screening line.
That's why I have introduced a bill called the "Air Passenger Fairness Act of 2012" to promote fairness for all air travel passengers by barring airlines and airport operators from using express security lines that allow for certain groups of air passengers to cut to the front of the TSA security screening line.
My bill would prohibit a practice currently used at many airports, where queues to enter checkpoint screening lanes have been designed to provide "elite" flyer lanes that the airlines make available to first class, and sometimes business class travelers, as well as to travelers who have reached certain status levels in airline frequent flyer programs. This enables them to move to the front of the waiting line to pass through TSA screening.
This bill is about fairness. Regardless of whether you have a first-class ticket or have reached a certain frequent flier status, the purpose of the airport security screening line is to ensure traveler safety. Allowing a select few to cut in front of those who are waiting patiently, just in order to provide a perk, has nothing to do with safety.
Because all of the passengers are entering an area of airports where the federal government is performing a government function -- security screenings -- using special lines to expedite the security screening process for some passengers is inappropriate. All passengers pay the same fee in their airline tickets to cover the cost of the TSA screenings regardless of ticket class. They should be treated equally.
The bill, however, would not affect the current "trusted traveler" Transportation Security Administration-administered program that travelers can use to apply for pre-screening clearance This may expedite their security screenings at designated locations in select airports. It also would not stop an airline or airport operator from setting up express lines for disabled passengers.