There are surprises in life, but two of them are not Thanksgiving and Christmas. They come at the same time every year. And it's no surprise that Americans travel en masse over those holidays, the Sunday after Thanksgiving said to be the year's busiest travel day.
The Transportation Security Administration knows those holidays are coming, but it would be comforting to know that the TSA is taking positive measures to do something about other than warn people to show up even earlier at the airport.
Once TSA had a goal of passengers waiting no more than 10 minutes to pass through its security screening. However, TSA officials are preparing to tell passengers to arrive at the airport an hour and a half before flight time. The authority that runs the two major airports in Washington, D.C., says two hours is more like it.
And even though Americans are generous gift givers over the holidays, woe to the passenger who arrives at security with the gifts already wrapped.
Rather than just hope to struggle through the holidays without angering too many people, TSA should try to show that the screening process can be conducted, in Arizona Sen. John McCain's words, with "predictability and dignity," and that true security doesn't involve hassling grandmothers and infants and ordering passengers to remove their belts and shoes.
As we said, it's not like the holidays are a surprise.