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Schumer urges greater scrutiny of boarding passes

The federal government should require airlines to check passengers' identification along with their boarding passes before they board planes, Sen. Charles Schumer said Sunday.

Schumer (D-N.Y.) also called for the Transportation Security Administration to compel air carriers to print encryptable bar codes on their boarding passes to better match names on the passes with those on IDs.

Schumer said it is easy for "would-be terrorists" to forge a driver's license and boarding pass and gain access to domestic flights.

"If you checked the ID and your boarding pass together, you could always check someone who is forging a boarding pass," Schumer said. "If they did this smart they would not inconvenience travelers."

The federal government mandated the gate ID check after the Sept. 11 attacks, but rescinded the order in less than a year after the airlines complained the checks took too much time. Most European airports still check ID at the gate.

A TSA spokesman did not immediately return phone calls Sunday.

"If they'd use the right technology and the right machinery, you can be both safe and quick," Schumer said.

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