Papers Please: FAQ on “No Fly” Lists

What are the Watch Lists??

The watch lists are secret lists of people deemed to dangerous to fly, yet apparently not so dangerous as to require the issuance of a warrant for their arrest. The No-Fly and Selectee lists compromise the watch lists. The TSA has admitted that the watch lists function not only to promote the safety of air transportation, but also to disrupt the functionality of “terrorists” organizations by inhibiting their mobility. There is no due process mechanism for being placed on or taken off the watch lists. It is done entirely in secret, and in doing so ignores the protections afforded by the Bill of Rights against government tyranny. Whatever benefit they provide is greatly outweighed by the danger for abuse they present….

How much will Secure Flight cost?

Billions of dollars. The TSA says Secure Flight will cost at least $2 billion, but airlines and travel agencies say it will probably cost much more than that. And that’s on top of several billion dollars that the TSA, airlines, computerized reservation system (CRSs) and travel agencies have already spent to modify their databases, collect additional information from and about travelers, and give the TSA access to their reservation systems. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Secure Flight will “force airlines … to change the way they operate, and how they interact with passengers, other airlines and travel agents. As a result, the industry faces complex system changes in order to meet the DHS duplicative data requirements at growing costs for the airlines and their passengers.”…

Who will have to pay for pay for Secure Flight?

You will, either through higher taxes, higher security fees on tickets, or higher fares….

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