Chris Soghoian suggests that his Northwest Airlines Boarding Pass generator shows that "The TSA Emperor Has No Clothes," because of the ease with which one can generate a fake boarding pass that gets you past the first line of security, which does not use a scanner on the pass. (Unlike the attendant at the door before you board the airline, who does.) However, you'd still need to put your real name on the pass. As commenter Michael Stackpole pointed out when ABC's Blotter posted about the ease of forging online-printed boarding passes,
There's a flaw in this story. When I get on a flight, my boarding pass is checked against my ID. If my real name was on a no-fly list, I'd have to have fake ID that is under another name. And if I've gone to the trouble of getting fake ID, I'd have gone to the trouble of having my ticket issued under that faked name.Though Stackpole's remark isn't wholly accurate either. Boarding passes are checked against IDs at security, but I haven't had anyone standing at the door ask for an ID in years. The screening process to get on a plane is atomized: one person ensures that the names on your ID and pass match; another person ensures that the pass is real. For those thinking to try out the fake boarding pass, you may want to check on whether Sen. Schumer had any success with his proposed legislation to make such forgeries a federal offense.