No. of Recommendations: 3
Not to start conspiracy theories -- not intentionally, anyway -- but has anyone wondered about the willingness of airlines to serve the government in this manner and the billions of dollars in bailout money they have received?

One has to wonder if the airlines, most of which are still struggling badly and several in or near bankruptcy and are lobbying Washington for more tax dollars, are in the back rooms negotiating more bailout money from the government...

Well, the airlines have always had a pretty close relationship with Uncle Sam. After all, having a workable and secure air traffic system is obviously of great importance to the country, so it's not surprising that the government gets involved. I think this is largely why so many of the airlines are able to stay in business despite losing so much money every year. It may be a corporate subsidy, but - at least to some degree - it's a subsidy in the national interest.

(Of course, none of this excuses inefficiency or waste in airline operations, but as the government's refusal to bail UAL out proved, there is at least some accountability in the process).

...and Uncle Sam comes back with strings attached that erode our privacy and freedom to travel without being tracked.

If this is really what's going on (and it may be) then the airline issue is merely a symptom of a larger problem. If the government is willing to invade our privacy to that degree then it will manifest itself in many other circumstances as well.

(Good thing we still have the ACLU).
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