I'd like to ask about the meaning of 'would' in the following passage.
According to the literature she'd read the previous day, the scans were automated and supervised by nearby military personnel. Of course, her creds would be checked instantly, and if there were any problem, she was sure she'd know about it by now. By the same token, if there were a problem, she likely would not have been allowed to board the train in the first place.
What does 'would' mean in the sentence 'Of course, her creds would be checked instantly, and if there were any problem, she was sure she'd know about it by now?'
Is it 'will' in the past? If so, I don't understand the second part of the sentence that says 'and if there were any problem, she was sure she'd know about it by now', which implies (for me, at least) that her creds were already checked.
The only guess I have is that 'would' means the following: her creds were probably checked instantly... but I'm not sure.
Yes, it's confusing and it's obviously American English, so perhaps it's not right for me to comment but I'm uncomfortable with it. My feeling is that British English, at least, would demand 'would have been' here rather than just 'would'. The meaning is that the speaker believes very strongly that her credentials were checked earlier because that is the recognised procedure. The meaning of what follows then becomes clear.