I understand the security to an extent, but it makes traveling suck. I went to O'Hare in Chicago not too long ago and had the worst time. We got off our plane which was late and had to go to a different terminal. So we had to go through security again. So my first problem is why do I need to go through security again? Did I build a bomb between terminals? So we get to our plane and it had left. We had to get a new plane which was of course in another terminal and had to leave and go through security a second time. That sucked.
Security is a necessity in this day and age unfortunately.. All I know is don't piss them off.. or they will go through everything you own and don't give a shit if you have a connector flight. One guy was a complete prick telling me to open the bag, then open the back of my old school camera ( thankfully I didn't have film in it) and then questioned me on what I was doing overseas. Like wtf asshole. let's see.. vacation? It was fucking England not Yemen. My passport says Canada? on it..meh
What is sad is that even with seat sales you don't get a discount on the fuel surcharges, airport improvement taxes and so on. Still pricey to fly unless you go with a charter flight. While significantly cheaper, less baggage allowance and you have to pay for seat selection.. So sadly trips overseas won't be happening in the very near future for me.
I understand the need for airport security, I've never questioned it pre or post 9/11/01. The aspect I hate about today's security precaution is that its giving airliners an excuse for additional charges, price gouging. To make matters worse, I know here in Canada when a price is advertised for a flight, all additional charges are hidden so your $200 flight to Florida ends up being closer to $500 after taxes and airport fees. Sorry, kinda derailing the thread here.
One of my biggest irks with airport security is some of the restrictions on my carry on, not so much as to what I can bring on but rather how much and baggage size. I travel with a CPAP machine due to my sleep apnea, a laptop, and DSLR camera with at least 2 lenses...like hell I'm stuffing that in my check-in knowing full well how handlers handle check-in bags or risk having them steal these items, its even recommended that you take items like these with you in your carry on. How is it that I can bring these items but restricted to a bag that can barely fit any 2?
I dont mind the security either except when they do things like O'Hare where they make you go through it every time you change terminals. It seems like they could have a way to get from one terminal to another without crossing outside security. Oh well it doesnt matter that much
So, hang on, as a Kiwi, I have to do next to extra none of this stuff, by being calm and reasonable, yet North Americans, by the same token, should fear their own infrastructure because it should tie them up for no possible reason because they forget they had a bottle of water...
I shit you not, coming to Canada last year, connecting through LA, I had nail clippers including fairly sharp scissors in my carry on they let through. Plain sight, no hiding in the bag. You let the gits win, by being scared or showing weakness, that's what they search for. Relax, remain calm, and really internationally, they don't care.
I flew last month for vacation and for the most part security wasn't that bad. I had to do the body scanner when leaving through Denver Intl. On the way back, New Orleans was easy, just the standard metal detector. I had to switch planes in Houston. I could have avoided security, but since it was a 2 1/2 hour layover, I went outside for a smoke. Going back through security, I Got the full treatment (body scan and pat down). There was an older lady who was flying back home after having hip surgery and was wheelchair-bound. They still made her stand up and get in the scanner, even though it was obvious she was having trouble standing. I understand the added security but I think the problem lies with the lack of common sense of TSA agents.
Being in the Navy, I don't have to take my shoes off but I do have to put all my carry on through the xray. I don't think security is that bad, but I do think it could move faster somehow. Maybe a checkpoint in the middle of the line to tell people to take off shoes and get things ready ahead of time instead of doing it at the machine and holding up the line.
I cant stand watching people get all the way to the scanners and then act like they had no idea they needed to put their stuff in the tray, empty their pockets, not take drinks, and remove their stuff from the bag. There are usually signs telling you what to do
Well there's always going to be some flaws in the security system. It's impossible for everyone to be happy. In the end, I just look at it this way: How many terrorist plots have been thwarted as a result of higher Air Travel Security?
But we've talked about this elsewhere - what you can't measure is how many plans were just never put into play because of increased airport security. It's by no means perfect and all the policies have been totally reactionary, but I still feel better knowing that it's being made more difficult to even make an attempt to begin with.
To define it as "how many plots have been stopped" is a poor judge because you don't know how many people stopped are part of a plot or just trying to bring something on that's not allowed, no ulterior motives.
I'd also point out that increased TSA security only works for domestic flights though; someone could still board a plane in another country and carry out an attack in the U.S. I believe the underwear bomber boarded in Nigeria.
Not sure why that matters. That shouldn't really have an impact on whether we do airport security a certain way. Sure, we can't dictate how another country does security, but we can certainly do what we can on our end. There is no 100% solution.
True, but the measures that get implemented should be better chosen. Forcing everyone to hand over their nail clippers and carry toddler-size shampoo isn't going to stop any hijackings. Making sure the cockpit can't be broken into, will.
9/11 didn't happen because the existing airport security was inadequate, it happened because box cutters weren't on the banned item list. If they had been, they would have been confiscated. As I recall, the criteria was "no thin metal objects longer than 6 inches."
In the post-9/11 world, passengers are self-policing; if they see someone trying to do something suspicious, they take that guy out. That's how both the underwear bomber and the shoe bomber were subdued. Passengers are acutely aware that a hijacked plane doesn't mean a free trip to Cuba any more. Secure the cockpit, confiscate anything with a blade, and trust passengers to act in their own best interest.
9/11 could have been prevented if the passengers of the other planes did what the passengers of UA Flight 93 did--"Let's roll!"--and overwhelmed the hijackers whom they believed were merely robbing them then going to drop them off somewhere else (as you said, "Free trip to Cuba"). Then again, before the events of 9/11, there was little reason to suspect anything different. All the little safety measures are, for all intents and purposes, meaningless and empty gestures to help assuage fears that something is actually being done when all it amounts to is ceremony. TSA agents? Largely not that useful, but extra eyes never hurts. Air marshals, however, I'm not willing to count out absolutely. In all cases we've had passengers stopping a potential attacker before anything could be done, but I would think having someone with military training aboard your flight would generally be a positive security measure.
There's also other cases of terrorists captured because they were led along by an FBI or CIA sting operation where all materials were controlled--and more often than not, faked.
I just find it funny, that they search for liquids. The really dangerous stuff is solid-state. You know, energetic materials. Is the 100mL per bottle rule just some arbitrary rule? I have a nagging suspicion it is 100 mL only because that is the normal size for most "travel size" products.
Buuutt... you can take as much "baby formula" as you want on the plane. That seems like a huge hold in the system. We'd better start screening parents more, because they could smuggle in gallons of liquid explosives with a stolen child. Trust TSA! They'll definitely keep us safe. They've done such a bang-up job keeping contraband off the planes so far... /sarc
Good thing too. We have had reports of mothers putting grenades into their baby's diapers in war zones. Why not put a non metallic plastic explosive into a diaper? For that matter, Gabe from Penny Arcade expressed in one of their podcasts that women could put explosives into their you-know-whats. Where will it end? Will the TSA start giving everyone full cavity searches? I don't know man, but it keeps me up at night.
Actually that is not quite accurate. In Canada and the UK you can take baby formula but the parent has to take it and drink some of it in front of a security guard. If the formula is not opened and say in a ready to serve can there are still limits ( you can't go over your weight in a carry on). For those airlines that allow an allowance for infants then again they cannot go over the limit and it has to be in it's original packaging. If not then as I stated previously the parent has to taste test ALL prepared bottles in front of security.
When I went to the UK last year there was a couple with an infant and toddler, the mother had the infant in a snuggly and the toddler was in one of those harness things so the kid wouldn't take off.. She was told to remove the infant out of the snuggly as well as the toddler out of the harness. I felt bad for her as the toddler took off , the infant who was sleeping woke up and started wailing, the father took off after the toddler and set off the metal detector due to the metal in his arm. I watched horrified as they took the infant from the mother and did a quick pat down then told the mother to remove the snuggly then walk through the gates with the infant at this point. They got through ok but the toddler then was in hysterics because she wasn't with her mother . Really I think a bit of overkill. The mother said to me later she didn't understand why she had to remove the snuggly after the fact or the harness on the toddler as there were no metal bits on it. Her son settled after about a half hour I think but I felt bad for the parents. Once we were all through the check point and in the waiting area, a man came over and said to them it wasn't right what they did to the children but if the father hadn't of had long hair it wouldn't be an issue.. I was like wtf?
I seem to recall reading a story somewhere about a woman who was told to drink some of the formula for her child, and despite her complaining that doing so would ruin the formula and make it undrinkable for the child, they made her drink 3/4 of it. I really couldn't tell you how long ago that was though, nor from what source I read it..