Ron Paul and other Libertarian minded people have suggested airline security should be left to the airlines and not the TSA. What would the airline industry be like if security was left to the airlines? How would the free market natural evolution process change an airline industry responsible for their own security?
Insurance companies would set their rates based upon an airlines security procedures. Higher insurance rates would push airlines to improve security to bring their costs down.
Restaurants can refuse service on the basis of safety, welfare or well-being of other patrons; airlines could refuse service for the same reasons, if a passenger is deemed a security risk.
There would be a list of airlines with the fewest number of terrorists incidents. Consumers would weigh for themselves how much they are willing to pay for security. Some airlines would advertise themselves as being the most secure way to fly.
There would be a market for the security-conscious people who are willing to pay more for better security. Less secure airlines would run themselves out of business, because people would be unwilling to fly with them.
Possible security features airlines might offer if they were in charge:
Pre-screening of passengers with a security background check.
Passengers and carry-ons scanned more than once. I double check my work; why not double check screeners?
Security stations on-board planes with armed guards.
Security cameras to monitor all passengers. Security cameras monitor people in department stores now, so why not on airplanes?
For the less expensive airlines without on-board security officers, airlines might try the following:
Carry-ons locked in the overhead bins or no carry-ons allowed at all.
Seats going sideways with lap bars (like those found on roller coasters) to keep everyone seated.
Only allowed to get out of seats when escorted by a crew member.
Taking the TSA out of air travel would be safer, because it is in the airlines’ own interest to improve security. Consumers would be more informed about the risks involved in flying. Consumers could weigh for themselves the inconvenience and loss of privacy from security measures vs. safety. In the long run, costs associated with security would come down because airlines would have motivation to create cost-effective and efficient security procedures.
Weighing the TSA’s motivation of improving security when something goes wrong vs. the airline industries self-preservation motives to improve security, the scale of safety tilts towards the airline industry.