Of all the hassles at the airport in this age of heightened security, perhaps the most annoying is the requirement to take off your shoes to send them through the X-ray screener. That burden will be lifted at some airports shortly — for those willing to pay about $100 a year for the privilege.
The Transportation Security Administration has recently approved a new device that will scan your shoes while you are still wearing them. It uses quadrupole resonance technology, similar to a medical M.R.I., to determine whether explosives or weapons might be hidden in your shoes. It is the first important new technology to emerge from the for-profit registered traveler programs.
The hitch is that, for now, you have to pay to join a program in which private companies pledge to move you through the security lines a bit faster if you submit to a government background check in advance and supply biometric data — like a thumbprint or iris scan — that can be used to identify you at the airport.Sure, I'll exchange being fingerprinted and scanned to get through the line a little quicker. It'd be a bargain at twice the price.