I know this may be hard to believe but I've seen it with my own eyes. Brief glimmers have been witnessed in other places, but several clear instances of cheery, friendly border people were in evidence on a recent trip through LAX to and from Baja. [Perhaps this group deals more with holiday travelers and business travelers; perhaps we are less snarky; but gosh they were friendly.] One guy made some jokes, I could hardly believe it. He was joking about the length of the lineup, and that yes, we did need to go through this even if we were just connecting to an outbound flight.
One of the security screening people hinted that we could spend less time with them if we followed all the rules. Also laughing.
I'm not sure what's happening, but I suspect that people are cluing in to the fact that none of this stuff is going to go away. How horrible must it be to work in an environment where you are expected to be a sourpuss all day. [To say nothing of all that smelly footwear.] Goodness knows it's horrible for travelers to deal with hostility in every airport. So I think we are witnessing a culture shift among the security staff and among customs and immigration staff, and boy is it ever welcome.
No one is minimizing the security risks or the need for countries to control who comes into their borders. But the vast majority of us are simply tax payers, not threats. It's nice to be treated with some simple humanity.
The US agency responsible for airport security, the TSA, has started a blog. It's actually fairly amusing, and has attracted a number of comments.
I found a surprising number of blogs referencing the who area of security screening. This is one of the common experiences of our time, and is universally hated. Check out a few of these stories.
"We're all porn stars now thanks to airport security", Current.com - wonderful picture of how we will look when the next x-ray tech arrives
What happens when a filmmaker packs prop explosives in his luggage, Home Away From Home blog
Buffalo Blood Donor on how to improve the experience: add some color.
Germs on your feet at airport security. And yes, there's a company selling a solution for that.
Frustration with priority line-hoppers, on Textually Promiscuous blog.