Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Rant: Airport Security

Am I the only one who thinks airport security is beyond stuuuuupid? I mean, a guy tries to blow up a plane shortly before it lands so now no one can stand up or have anything on their laps during the last hour of a flight. So that means if he would have tried to blow up a plane after take off, people wouldn't be able to stand up during the first hour of a flight? If he would have tried to blow up the flight during the middle of the flight does that mean nobody would be able to stand up during the hour that falls in the exact middle of a flight? Ayayay. Talk about knee-jerk, idiotic reactions...
Fortunately Bruce Schneier provides a voice of reason in this crazy, terrorist-obsessed time. Read his commentary about airport terrorists here.
I certainly don't feel any safer going through airports now that "new, enhanced security measures have been enacted." I feel less safer because #1) the average people on the plane have been disarmed and in a crisis, it is the average people who are going to save your ass, and #2) the employees who enforce the anti-terrorism rules which seem to change daily are about as effective as call center employees (they follow a script, do whatever they are told, and common sense seems to escape them totally).
I am all for, as Bruce suggests, going back to pre-9/11 safety measures. Since 9/11 there is no way a plane full of passengers is going to follow the old script of "if your plane is hijacked, give the hijackers what they want and they will let you live." We know now that if a plane is hijacked, your only option is to fight the hijackers with every fiber of your being. It's fairly well ingrained in people, now all they need is the means to arm themselves in order to be able to effectively fight back. If you were a terrorist, would you want to face a plane load of armed passengers or a plane load of unarmed, cowering people who expect their government to keep them safe?
I'll hop off my soapbox now...


  1. I quit flying,F'em!

  2. You couldn't be more right. I worked for the FAA, ATC, for over 30 years. I chatted with airport security personnel at ORD many times - before 9/11. They were underpaid, undertrained, and unmotivated. I commented several times to the "official" airport security about the complete lack of real security at the airport - and I'm not even mentioning the lack of controls in the air freight or other "external" areas. The situation is not, I say again, immproved any immeasuably in my humble, and retired, opinion.

  3. I retired about five years ago from air traffic in the FAA. While at ORD, before, 9/11, I frequently talked to airport screeners - they were underpaid, undertrained, and unmotivated. But did "official" airport or FAA security care. Not much. It is not measurably safer to fly today than it was then. Period.

    Of course, it's still safer than driving from Tennessee to Terre Haute in my Pathfinder.