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Just Think of All the Free Travel

If you'd like this to be part of your job description, Dallas is woefully short on air marshals.
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The Transportation Security Administration's looking for air marshals -- about 50 of 'em, if you're in need of a job. Pay ain't bad, between $37,683.00 and $86,857, though you might have to move out of the DFW, as we're not among the 13 major cities listed in the help-wanted ad. However: "Applicants may select other desired duty locations from the given list," as the TSA's spread thin all over, including Dallas-Fort Worth.

Fact is, says CNN in a special report, "staffing in Dallas, Texas, for instance, is down 44 percent from its high." Which is why, CNN says, "of the 28,000 commercial airline flights that take to the skies on an average day in the United States, fewer than 1 percent are protected by on-board, armed federal air marshals," which the TSA disputes. Says that's a "myth," matter of fact.

But the money quote's this one: "Another pilot, who wanted to protect his identity because he carries a weapon in the cockpit, said he regularly flies in and out of New York's airports and almost never encounters an air marshal." On the plus side, airport screeners will be happy to relieve you of that 1.6-ounce container of hand sanitizer. --Robert Wilonsky

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