Longer airport lines may be inevitable

The most miserable experience known to man—waiting in line at the airport, of course—may soon be getting a lot worse. This according to a piece in today's Washington Post, which notes that "the Bush administration is preparing a new procedure [fingerprint gathering] that may further slow the pace of those serpentine airport lines."

Oh, goodie.

This fingerprint-gathering effort is part of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) plan to keep tabs on who's coming into the U.S., and—notably—who's not leaving when they're supposed to. Many of the 9/11 conspirators, for example, stayed in the United States past their visa expiration.

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According to the Post, "DHS wants [the fingerprint machines] at airline check-in counters; the airlines do not. The airlines make an efficiency argument." (Airlines talking about efficiency? What's next—cats and dogs, living together?) In any event, you can be sure DHS will win this battle eventually, and we the traveling public will have one more hassle to deal with at the airport.

I can certainly see the merit in making sure we know who's coming into the country. I don't particularly enjoy the airport experience as it is, though, and shudder to think how much extra time these (and future) security measures may add to an already tiresome experience.

Not everyone, after all, can find it in themselves to downright enjoy being stuck in an airport.

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