Probably the most time-consuming/embarrassing part of passing through TSA is shoe-removal. Not only is the unlacing inefficient when you’re nearly late for boarding, it’s not the most hygienic-feeling step, especially when the guy in front of you forgot his socks, and his Odor Eaters. A shoe-removal-frustrated friend who wished to remain anonymous said, “Can we talk about how gross it is to see complete strangers’ feet? Or having that handsome stranger help you with your bags and then… Ugh! Off come the shoes and there’s your bunion like a sixth finger pointing at him and grossing him out! And how about never wearing boots or high heels or any shoe other than a flip-flop or slip-on on an airplane? That’s fun.”
Agreed. Soon, though, seems we’ll be able to skip the foot-baring burden, striding from home to airport to window seat without so much as loosening double-knots, thanks to better technology in the works–according to a Politico post this week. At a “Playbook Breakfast” forum at the Newseum, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Politico White House Correspondent Mike Allen, “We are moving towards an intelligence and risk-based approach to how we screen. I think one of the first things you will see over time is the ability to keep your shoes on. One of the last things you will [see] is the reduction or limitation on liquids.”
No details released about the new scanning technology to make our stilettos and sneakers safer, or any real hints regarding when we can start keeping our shoes on. So, keep your shirts on, travelers, be patient and polite about pulling your wingtips off, and trust that in coming months–or possible several years–your TSA walk will move at a quicker, cushioned clip.