Anybody who has done any traveling since 9/11 knows that you can’t get board a plane without showing ID and disposing of your toiletries and surrendering to a cavity search.
However, frequent traveler Phil Mocek discovered there is no law requiring you to show your identification between interstate traveling, despite the numerous signs in airports ordering you to present your ID before boarding.
The Arizona Daily Star even confirmed his discovery last year, stating that not producing an ID might lead to additional screening but would not necessarily ban someone from boarding the plane.
But that didn’t stop Mocek from getting arrested yesterday at Albuquerque Sunport Airport after he refused to show Transportation Security Authority inspectors his identification.
In a case that is burning up the Flyer Talk forum, but has been largely ignored by the mainstream media, Mocek was charged with “concealing identity, disorderly conduct, refusing to obey an officer, and criminal trespass.”
His traveling buddy, Jesse Gallagos, was detained and banned from the airport for 24 hours after attempting to film Mocek’s arrest.
However, prior to the incident, Mocek apparently confirmed that photography was not banned in the airport, according to Philosecurity, the site that broke the story.
Mr. Mocek had previously contacted TSA personnel at the Albuquerque International Sunport Airport(ABQ) to find out if photography was allowed, and was clearly told by local TSA officer Susanne Spencer that advance notification was recommended, but not required.
Mocek, who was held on a $1,000 bail, was released after supporters raised money on the internet.
He is already in contact with an attorney, according to a post he made on the Flyer Talk forum.
Besides the fact that there is no law requiring one to show their ID before boarding a plane between interstate travel, the main issue here is whether or not providing an ID actually keeps us safer.
The 9/11 hijackers all had valid identifications, so it wouldn’t have made a difference there.
And even if they do cross-check your ID with the terrorist watch list, is that keeping us safer considering they will put you on the list for the simple act of taking photos inside a subway station?