Do we need a national “trusted traveler” program for airline passengers?

Topic “A” this morning is the U.S. tourism industry’s surprising call for a national “trusted traveler” program for airline passengers.

“There is a shared sense of a better, smarter way to make the air travel security system more secure and efficient for travelers,” said Roger Dow, president of the U.S. Travel Association. “We believe a trusted traveler program should be the centerpiece of an enhanced air travel security process.”

Would air travelers be willing to give up their fingerprints, eye-scans and other personal information information in exchange for a shortcut through the security line? And just how much grief would we avoid by becoming part of a “trusted traveler” program? The body scans and pat downs, but not the magnetometers (like flight attendants) or the whole thing (like senior government officials). Here’s a list of current exemptions.