This week’s iPhone App of the Week has been around for nearly two months, but due to the creator of this App I needed to make sure the App worked only in ‘one direction’ before writing about it. In a society becoming more like George Orwell’s 1984 every day I needed to do some homework first …
… now that the homework is out of the way … this week’s iPhone App of the Week is My TSA.
My TSA has been released by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The TSA’s My TSA App has some interesting features for travelers in the United States, primarily infrequent flyers.
For infrequent flyers an interesting feature of the My TSA App is a guide on how to prepare for crossing through a security checkpoint quickly. There are some basic tips in this section, but tips that can reduce stress and anxiety for those not familiar with the airport screening process.
Information in the TSA’s My TSA “Guide” that is very handy to infrequent flyers would be information on accepted IDs, traveling with children, packing tips, special medications information, etc. The whole “Guide” section is well thought out.
A feature of the My TSA App that should not be overlooked is a guide to what can be brought through an airport checkpoint. There are some interesting things you can search for (as you can see in the last screen shot of the App posted below). Many traveler frustrations stem from passengers facing rules that are inconsistent from TSA station to TSA station, hopefully a pocket sized Official TSA list of what is acceptable can reduce some of these arguments and frustrations. The TSA has made a surprisingly detailed guide for travelers.
Oddly, the feature that is least useful in the My TSA App is security checkpoint wait times. The security check point wait times is dependent on users reporting their time in the TSA lines. In order to get accurate wait times there needs to be a massive number of regular users, this many of the wait times listed in the App can be days old. The TSA needs to start using its own real-time data for security check points again and integrate this into the App for it to be a real tool for travelers. The TSA previously made real time checkpoint data available and has since ceased making that information available.
My TSA is free on the iTunes store.
Below are 20 screen shots of the TSA’s My TSA App from my iPhone.