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Originally posted by xacex:
Companies have the right to do whatever they please which includes making each customer show ID or not as long as they are a privately owned business. Which is perfectly fine, I'd rather not have the government have a hand in businesses anyway. But stating it's the law is a falacy and is misleading to their customers.
The airlines are private businesses, however they are regulated by the federal government (the FAA). They must abide by the regulations in 14 CFR Part 121, as well as many regulatory directives. One of which is Security Directive 96-05:

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1. IDENTIFY THE PASSENGER -

A. ALL PASSENGERS WHO APPEAR TO BE 18 YEARS OF AGE WILL PRESENT A GOVERNMENT ISSUED PICTURE ID, OR TWO OTHER FORMS OF ID, AT LEAST ONE OF WHICH MUST BE ISSUED BY A GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY.

B. THE AGENT MUST RECONCILE THE NAME ON THE ID AND THE NAME ON THE TICKET -- EXCEPT AS NOTED BELOW.

C. IF THE PASSENGER CANNOT PRODUCE IDENTIFICATION, OR IT CANNOT BE RECONCILED TO MATCH THE TICKET, THE PASSENGER BECOMES A "SELECTEE." CLEAR ALL OF THEIR LUGGAGE AS NOTED IN SECTION 6, BELOW.

6. CLEAR SELECTEE'S CHECKED AND CARRY-ON LUGGAGE, AND SUSPICIOUS ARTICLES DISCOVERED BY THE QUESTIONS ASKED;

A. IF THE SELECTEE IS ON A FLIGHT WITHIN THE 48 CONTINENTAL US STATES, OR TO MEXICO, OR TO CANADA, ITEMS CAN BE CLEARED BY EITHER OF THE FOLLOWING METHODS:

1. EMPTY THE LUGGAGE OR ITEM AND PHYSICALLY SEARCH ITS CONTENTS BY A QUALIFIED SCREENER, OR;

2. BAG-MATCH -- ENSURE THE BAG IS NOT TRANSPORTED ON THE AIRCRAFT IF THE PASSENGER DOES NOT BOARD.

B. IF THE SELECTEE IS ON AN INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT -- CHECKED LUGGAGE, CARRY-ON LUGGAGE, AND SUSPECT ITEMS CAN BE CLEARED ONLY BY THE FOLLOWING METHOD; EMPTY THE LUGGAGE OR ITEM AND PHYSICALLY SEARCH ITS CONTENTS BY QUALIFIED SCREENERS.
Some secret and cloak-and-dagger law that is. I even have a copy!

And to provide some backup to my previous post, here's another good regulation:

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§ 91.3 Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command.

(a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.
Ahh, I love catch-alls. If the Pilot in Command makes a decision regarding anything that pertains to his flight, it's law.

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you are still failing to explain how the 9/11 hijackers were stopped by showing id
I didn't even make an attempt to.