Citing the potential for “mass confusion, chaos and delays” at U.S. airports, members of Congress have introduced legislation to head off travel disruption caused by the Oct. 1 Real ID deadline.
Travel organizations, which have been warning of a potential travel nightmare resulting from the new ID laws, applauded the bill, although with the deadline eight months out, they wondered if it amounted to too little, too late.
The Trusted Traveler Real ID Relief Act of 2020 would allow TSA Precheck membership to serve as a temporary alternative to a Real ID at domestic airports, enable people to apply for the IDs online and create a plan for the TSA to vet people who show up without Real IDs.
The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) cheered the bill.
“We are very concerned about the unintended impacts that this law will have on travel agency clients and the broader travel community,” said ASTA’s Genevieve Strand. “The potential for disruption at security checkpoints is significant. We’ve seen estimates that as many as 500,000 passengers per week could be turned away.”
U.S. Travel data shows that 57 percent of Americans are unaware of the Oct. 1 deadline, and an estimated 99 million do not have a Real ID or alternative form of accepted identification, such as a U.S. passport, military ID or Global Entry card needed to pass through airport checkpoints after Oct. 1.
Source: Travel Weekly