After 9/11 security was significantly tightened, in the USA at least thousands of new Transport Secuirty Agents were deployed to pre-screen passengers to make sure all those entering the gate areas, where passengers board planes, had been pre-checked to make sure they had valid identification and a valid ticket to travel. It's not entirely clear to me which bit of this would have prevented 9/11 but it certainly made a difference in the USA. Pre-9/11 friends and families were able to say goodbye and meet passengers right where they got on/off the plane, not anymore.
Now, most Americans don't have passports, but they need some form of valid, government issued picture identification in order to fly. For most that means their State driving license. So with my UK Passport starting to look badly worn, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could board flights with my humble UK Picture Drivers license. Remembering of course that the UK Police don't recognise this as formal driving permission, you have to have the accompanying full paper license.
Anyway, today marks twenty flights using only my UK Photo id. Now, this would be ok, but actually I think its all a bit scary, after all the level of inspection of my license is cursory only, so whats to stop me making a good looking fake license for some other country, or just fake a UK Picture id license? After all, what do the TSA Screeners know about a UK Picture license?