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Airport security: Mood lighting and music?

By Erik Torkells
updated February 21, 2017

USA Today has a story today about how the TSA is planning on testing a "kindler, gentler" screening process at Baltimore-Washington International airport. What does that mean? Mauve lighting, soothing music, and smiling employees. (Big sigh.) If the TSA is serious about making people less stressed during the screening process, they should focus on making enforcement consistent from airport to airport. It's not, and it's maddening. And for Pete's sake, please don't play music. I flew Delta last weekend, and I went crazy listening to the music they play while the plane waits for the go-ahead to push away from the gate. The songs weren't bad--it was a fairly modern playlist--but it's not enjoyable, and it doesn't remove my stress; it makes it worse. Adding music to the security process is just so fraught. I mean, I can already hear the TSA screeners yelling even more loudly at passengers ("Get your laptops out! Take off your shoes!") to be heard over the sounds of Josh Groban.

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