My experience at Seatac passport control yesterday was surreally 21st century in character.
I was standing in line. And standing. A very long time standing. And then… one line manager official mentioned that those with "mobile passport" got to use an expedited line. I began wondering what this "mobile passport" might be.
So seeing as I was standing there with nothing to do, and I had a good airport wifi connection, I researched it on my phone's internet browser. Lo and behold, there was a "TSA-approved" app in the google play store.
I downloaded the app to my phone. I knelt on the floor and scanned my passport into the app. I stood against the wall and took a really bad selfie, and I loaded the pic to my phone and added it to the app. I checked a bunch of boxes on the forms in the app, possibly turning my soul over to the TSA. And voila, I got a QR code on my phone, which then I showed to the line official. "Oh, step right over there," he said, opening the little vinyl strap separating the lines. I only had to stand in line 5 minutes after that.
Perhaps the difference between Korea and the US is that at the Korean border, such automation (with accompanying surrender of privacy) is obligatory, and thus relatively painless, whereas in the US, such post-modern efficiencies always tend to be "opt in" which means that many others are left in the "slow lane."
[daily log: walking, 5km]