I just flew in from Dallas…

…and boy, are my arms tired. [ba-dum-DUM.] I made a quick, day-trip to Dallas, and I’m compelled to make a couple of observations, and offer an idea that I think would be a win-win for all travelers.
First, on my way out, I stopped by the TSA area and asked “are these nail clippers okay to carry.” They assured me they were. (I didn’t want them confiscated.) I had my carry-on (laptop) bag scanned, and they even took out the PC for special attention. No big. Flew to Dallas.
Second, on my return trip, same day, same bag, they pulled it and discovered a Swiss Army knife (a BIG one) that I’d forgotten about, in the bottom of my bag. They of course confiscated it, as you’d expect. The TSA inspectors were VERY nice about it, which I appreciated. They offered me the option of getting out of line and mailing it to myself, giving it to a friend, or having it confiscated. The only viable option for me was confiscation. (Ooops.) Now, why didn’t the baggage screeners catch this knife on the way out? No idea. The Dallas screeners were kinda proud that they’d found it and the Amarillo guys didn’t. Somehow that doesn’t make me feel safer. (Of course, I know any number of guys – my son for one – who’ve had the kind of military training that would make a ballpoint pen as effective a weapon as a pocketknife, but I digress…)
That brings me to my big idea. Airports are a for-profit business, right? Why can’t airports offer (rent) space to one of the freight companies (FedEx, UPS, etc.) to put a self-serve kiosk right there in the screening area, complete with small boxes, labels, and a credit card reader that would allow someone who screws up to mail their contraband back to themselves without leaving the area? The airport would make money. The freight company would make money. Passengers wouldn’t have to face the choice of missing a flight versus losing something valuable.
I’m sure there are a bunch of reasons that someone can argue that this Just Can’t Be Done, but it’s a good idea and it would help travelers – and make money for the airports. How can that be a bad thing?

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