09 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

5 Important Features Missing from the My TSA iPhone App

The Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) is going high-tech! The agency released an iPhone application last week that aims to alert travelers on wait times.

My TSA” contains an official TSA airport status report, a quick search of items that are permissible to carry on airlines, a “TSA Guide” on air travel etiquette and dressing, and a wait time crowdsourcing feature where people can share wait times right down to a terminal.

Omri, a blogger for travel blog Jaunted, tells us that the free app is actually not all that useful in terms of nailing down wait times and there are other better applications like TripIt that note airport delays. However, the app has potential if TSA incorporates the following features into an update:

1. No Fly List: Provide an updated database for all travelers to check whether they barred from flying on a commercial airline in the United States, or if they would face additional scrutiny at airports due to their names ending up on the list erroneously or matching up as a false positive.

2. Racist Alert: Enable another crowdsourcing feature for all users to report questionable behavior by TSA agents, especially as a result of intelligence-based profiling, right down to the name, terminal, and airport. Hey, maybe we can have our own TSA jeopardy game.

3. Calculate radiation: Measure and take copious note of the radiation received during each scanning process. It may cause cancer, especially in children. The tool would be invaluable when suing DHS for damages.

4. User-Guide for “Suspicious” Items: Provide another crowdsourcing feature that travelers can use to report items deemed suspicious by TSA agents, such as Arabic flashcards or a trophy. Also, you really cannot have a cellphone that looks like a grenade.

5. Celebrity Body Scans: The TSA porn machines should benefit the general public. Allow all users to access the body scans of celebrity figures for a small nominal fee. It may make up for the cost of full body scans.

We are eagerly awaiting an update.

Photo Credit: William Hook

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