[...] Another airline employee later confirmed that FAA agents often engage in such entrapment activities, to make sure that airline agents parrot the government party line about state-issued ID. I also hit pay dirt in a discussion with another, much nicer Northwest agent on the East coast. In a candid conversation, he told me that FAA personnel had held training sessions with all airline agents in the fall of 1996. Agents were informed directly by the FAA that they absolutely could not bar an American citizen from boarding a plane, even if a passenger refused to produce any identification at all! [...]
Yet another agent in the Midwest admitted that airline personnel were deliberately and knowingly coercing people into showing government ID by saying "it's the law." According to him the reality is that the companies are simply tired of people selling their frequent-flyer tickets. The airlines wanted to stem this practice by checking everyone's ID, but knew there would be BIG problems if they instituted this procedure as a private corporate policy. It was so much more convenient to say it was federal law and make the government the scapegoat. So this policy meets the airlines' private financial goals, and the government's goal of ever-increasing social control.
or... How To Be Late For Your Flight in the Name of Freedom: