Fear is a great motivator. As Threatwatch.org comments, ever since the thwarted liquid plot in London, checked baggage has increased by 20%. While this is having the positive effect of speeding some through security checkpoints and speeding up aircraft boarding, the gains made there are losses elsewhere, as the time it takes to load the aircraft of baggage and unload it has thus increased. Thus you might get out faster, but you’ll end up waiting for your luggage longer on the other side.
Threatwatch goes on to question whether or not the terrorist plot has succeeded, if not in the actual sense, in a secondary fashion. The airlines and the local governments are forced to absorb higher costs due to security measures, which they will pass to the consumer in the form of higher fares and higher taxes.
We look forward to a return to more sensible and efficient security. Despite web and kiosk check-in in the years since 2001, we have not adapted security at all to the realities of this change. Under the pre-self-checkin model, a person would have their ID checked at the counter, then at security. Right after 9/11, they also checked at the gate. We eliminated the counter check with web check-in. So now, the only point of identity verification is the person who checks your ID at security before you put it away to go through the checkpoint. And this is often done by someone who is not a TSA employee. We hope that the airport security system will be revamped soon.