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Airlines To Offer Security Based Ticket Pricing
ORLANDO, Fla. (CAP) - As the backlash continues to grow over new Transportation Security Administration screening procedures, some airlines concerned over the possible revenue impact if people choose not to fly have begun implementing new ticket pricing options based on level of security. Orlando Sanford International is the first airport to approve the new approach.
"We're always on the hunt for the right mix of passenger security and customer satisfaction and this offering strikes a perfect chord between both," said Larry Dale, president of the Sanford Airport Authority. "If safety isn't a huge concern for you, then why the hell are we getting all bent out of shape about it?
"Listen, no one's going to force you to fly first class when you only want to pay for coach," noted Dale. "So why force you to undergo a molestation when you only want to pay for some harassment?"
Allegiant Air is leading the way, having already posted a new three-tiered fee structure that includes Full Frontal, No Touch, and Straight To Tarmac pricing options. Allegiant does not plan to offer mixed-tier flights in order to ensure that everyone on a given flight gets the security they desire and paid for.
"I just can't subject my kids to a TSA rubdown - especially after such a great week at Disney," said one Youngstown, Ohio father of a 6- and 8-year-old. "So my wife and I are taking a Full Frontal back home and the girls will catch a No Touch in a couple hours. We're breathing much easier, and the cost savings is just icing on the cake."
Companies that had been slashing their travel budgets say they're finding Straight To Tarmac to be a very affordable option for business trips, allowing them to expand into areas that might not otherwise provide enough of a return on investment. Some are even using the ticket pricing as a performance incentive.
"If I make it there and can get the client to sign for three years, I'll earn myself a No Touch flight home," said one IT salesman as he zipped past security with just a wave of his boarding pass. "But I'm gunning for five years, which'll net me a Full Frontal all on the company dime. Certainly raises the stakes more than a plain old bonus!"
Other airports are also implementing new screening procedures in an attempt to maximize security while minimizing passenger dissatisfaction. Boston's Logan Airport is constructing a security version of so-called glory holes that lets passengers be groped by screeners through a hole in a wall without having to see who is groping them. And Denver International Airport has launched a massive amputee hiring effort in order to begin their new Prosthetic Patdown program.
"We achieve the same desired result by feeling you up with a fake rubber hand as we do with real flesh and blood," said TSA Denver hiring manager Phil DelRosso. "But this way ain't nobody really touching anybody and our EEO numbers go through the roof."
Southwest Airlines has become the first airline to attempt to put a favorable spin on the TSA screening brouhaha by embracing the new procedures in a positive light with its clients. The company's new "Where do you want to be touched today?" ad campaign kicks off next week.
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