Let’s Make Airport Screening Easier, Ads Say

The U.S. Travel Association's "Be trusted" campaign advocates creating a "Trusted Traveler" program that would provide quicker airport screenings for flyers who submit to background checks and meet other criteria, with the greater goal being a boost in revenue and industry jobs. Ads show citizens we should apparently let waltz on planes with minimal fuss. Those cleared for takeoff include business-suited, middle-aged white guy Peter, who we're assured "is a tax attorney, not a terrorist"; young black woman Gina, a "marketing consultant"; Asian woman Carol, a "mother of three"; and Katie, a "nine-year-old kid from Tulsa." Now, I could attempt an intellectual discussion of the ethical, slippery-slope aspects of adopting such a policy. But I'm really not that bright, and my objections are more basic. Simply put: The folks in these ads are the very people we should be keeping off planes! Who wants to get trapped between an attorney and a marketing consultant on a cross-country flight, with lawyer yakking nonstop about "easements" and the rising price of nannies, and the marketer bitching about how "clients just don't understand"? That obnoxious Air New Zealand puppet would make a better seatmate. As for 9-year-olds, no thanks—I'll take my chances with the terrorists. See the full ads after the jump.