We've gotten some lively letters in reaction to our recent article, Ads on Airport Shoe Bins. Here's a sampling:
Perhaps, some of the funds generated by the "shoe box" ads could be used to buy chairs for people to use while taking their shoes off. --Bob Ittleson, Union, N.J.
In general, I have no problem with the TSA generating ad revenue to help the budget. However, my concern is that people will be more likely to overlook some personal item in the tray when it's on top of a visually busy ad. When this happens, the TSA screener will call them back, and it's just one more delay in getting people through the check point. Not to mention that travelers might actually lose something. --Sam Peach, Ijamsville, Md.
I can see both sides; if the money coming in can reduce the taxpayer's expense, ads at the shoe bin are ok w/me. I might just laugh; however, if it causes planned delays, then no. --Bernadine Bednarz, Los Angeles, Calif.
Hmmm... let me see now. I am on a journey, with all of the challenges that presents--packing, making decisions, rearranging my routine, going into the busy known or the adventurous unknown--and I am at the airport thinking about things like did I pack everything I need, and how will the weather affect the flight, and did the pilot get a good night's sleep, and will someone find a reason to question me at security. And then I reach that security point, where I have to pull things out of my pocket and watch someone scrutinize my personal belongings, and take off my shoes and stand on a cold floor in the middle of winter. So, am I likely to react at all positively to an advertisement on the plastic box where I've just had to put the contents of my pockets and my nice, warm footwear, and as I am preparing to go through a machine that is likely to beep and subject me to a body search or at least intensive questioning? How open am I going to be to considering buying a product that's being forced in my range of vision in the middle of all of this? What do you think? --Felicity Hallanan, Sandy Creek, N.Y.
This is yet another example of the abuse we suffer at the misguided hands of TSA. --Steve Postle, Lincoln, Calif.
It's an ingenious idea to raise some income, hopefully well spent, for this very expensive endeavor. Personally, I don't think the line can be slowed any further, so the fear that they will need to make the wait even longer to benefit advertisers should not materialize. Besides, if the government ware 'that' efficient and cost conscious, I would even wait longer. --David Hung, Los Angeles, Calif.
What a joke! Security checkpoints are not the place for advertising. Visitors to the US who are not fluent in English will be even more confused trying to read the advertising while going through security. Signs and directions given by TSA agents are often confusing. Imagine trying to listen to the TSA agents yelling directions, watching the flashing signs overhead and trying to read the advertising at the same time. What a nightmare! Slowdowns are inevitable. --Carol Nelson, Indianapolis, Ind.
I am usually distracted and feeling rushed when going thru security. I do not need ads to clutter up the visual for trying to collect my belongings without forgetting something. I'm certainly not going to be very receptive to any ad I actually see and remember! --Barbara Wysocki of Niantic, Conn. (reading us from vacation in Thailand)
Once those Idiots start making money with the shoe bins will NEVER go away. Long after there is a need for them you will waste your time because the TSA won't give up the money. --Thomas Curley, of Cumming, Ga.
I find this proposal ridiculous and a bit perverse. The whole idea of taking off our shoes originated with prevention of terrorist acts and for TSA to make money off these ads is to exploit a serious situation. While I am skeptical of terrorists ever using shoes as a vehicle for destruction again, I do not want shoe bins being used as advertisements. TSA needs to use the money in its budget more efficiently and wisely! --Jeanne Seals, Los Angeles, Calif.
I am far too occupied with unpacking my computer and removing my shoes, jacket and other miscellany to have time to even be aware of ads at security checkpoints, let alone register contents of the ad. Yes, I would worry that I would be further delayed so the ad vendors would be satisfied. Probably the ads would be most effective at the points where I have to gather all this stuff and pack, don, or tie whatever I have removed. Of course, not all travelers find this as daunting as I do. We are bombarded with ads at the movies, tv, on the computer and billboards so I have become immune by automatically ignoring contents,. Let them support security if it doesn't delay as I never feel that people have been adequately screened and the added income might improve the situation. --Ruth Van Wagner, Palm Springs, Calif.