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ON THE ROAD

Grounded By No-Fly Lists

The Annoyance:

I'm a frequent flyer, and just about every time I go through a security checkpoint some beefy guard pulls me to the side, waves a wand over my entire body, and interrogates me before I can get on the plane. Am I on some sort of government no-fly list? How do I get off?

The Fix:

You may well be, though good luck finding out. Since 1990 the feds have maintained a list of passengers deemed a threat to civil aviation. In fact, there are at least two separate lists: one contains "selectees" who must undergo extra scrutiny before boarding; the other contains the names of those who are prevented from flying at all. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 vastly increased the scope of such lists—from a handful of names to more than 20,000, according to an October 2004 report in the Washington Post.


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