Today was another lucky day for me. I got another chance to go through our lovely travel experience we have in the United States. Today included the usual nonsensical ‘logic’ and fumbling, except for one new 'system’ that was in place that I think sums up the entire system quite nicely.
Normal scenario; you go through the first line where, at the end, you are greeted by a person with a pen and a little purple flashlight. They look over your ID, flash the light at it a few times, then scribble a bunch of shapes on your boarding pass (unless you use a smart phone boarding pass, which I love!). Fortunately they do not have to touch your phone. Directly after this part of the game is where the new part of the system awaits you!
Try to visualize this. Facing you is a line of 4 agents lined up, shoulder to shoulder. One of the individuals in the middle has an iPad on a pretty beefy stand in front of them. The iPad also faces you. Now, the person at the wooden kiosk who flashes the purple light and scribbles, directs you to the person standing behind the iPad. When you get to the iPad controller, you see an app running with the title “TSA Randomizer” across the top of the horizontal iPad and just blank space below that. My first thought is confusion as I approach. TSA needed to add a tablet to the process somehow, after all tablets are cool, and it’s good for their hip image. Now, what could happen next. The person greets you, looks down at the iPad, and taps the center of the screen, at which point a giant white arrow pops up and points to the left!
Let this sink in..
There are 4 people standing in a line in order to tap the screen of a tablet so it can produce a large white arrow in some sort of random fashion (which I am sure was coded incorrectly and probably isn’t even close to random. Also some contractor probably got paid a ton of money to “build” and “code” the application).
And there you have it. Something for you to look forward to on your next US flight.