For the first time in recent history, in-flight security screening is on the chopping block. As reported earlier this week, TSA is looking to scrap some of the more onerous checkpoints, which have been a constant fixture of travel for the past four decades, in favor of something as simple as swiping an I.D. at the gate.
The nixed lines will only be in place at some regional airports, meaning air travel won’t suddenly become far more streamlined. But that’s not stopping an unlikely group of people from welcoming the change: flight attendants.
“Shorter lines on-board is a great change, and we’re thrilled,” Cheryl Wilson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants–CWA, the union that represents 11,000 flight attendants at the five largest U.S. airlines, told The New York Times. “It’s good for your safety, good for your satisfaction — and it’s good for our bottom line.”
Wilson is, of course, right. Reducing security lines in and out of airports could help pay for a number of worthy causes, including vital improvements to their planes — especially as new computer-based safety systems come online. But The Times also reports that more minor fixes could also have a positive effect on flight attendants: namely, time-saving measures like not having to check an endless list of carry-on bags at security checkpoints.
Still, the real heroes of travel are those who are right on-board, helping passengers navigate the necessary miles and hours of air travel without any of the stress, and beauty, of travel. Here’s what flight attendants want you to know about flying the friendly skies now.